National Stop Bullying Day is observed on the second Wednesday of October as a day dedicated to learning about bullying and prevention strategies. Bullying at school affects students’ health, well-being, and academic performance. Students who bully others are more likely to demonstrate aggressive, violent, or criminal behaviors and abuse drugs and alcohol. Students who are victims of bullying tend to experience depression, loneliness, and anxiety -- may potentially last into adulthood. Students who witness bullying are prone to suffer higher rates of drug and alcohol use, mental health problems, and school absences.
Creating a safe and supportive school climate can aid in bullying prevention. By utilizing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), efforts are made to positively transform a school’s climate and culture by teaching necessary social skills and emotional skills. There are five competencies of social and emotional learning -- self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. SEL has the potential to decrease aggressive and controlling behaviors in students who bully while increasing their ability to be respectful and kind. SEL can improve confidence and self-worth along with reducing social withdrawal among students who are victims of bullying.
Social and emotional learning is known to reduce bullying by creating strong teacher-student relationships, positive peer-to-peer relationships, safe space for students, understanding of empathy, and teaching student bystanders how to help.
Resources to learn more about how SEL can aid in bullying prevention:
Prevention: Learn How to Identify Bullying & Stand Up To It Safely
Social-Emotional Learning Helps Prevent Bullying
Build a Safe Environment
Social-Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention
Schoolwide SEL to Prevent Bullying
5 SEL Activities to Reduce Bullying in Your School
23 Must Read Anti-Bullying Books for Kids
World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 as an international day to raise awareness of mental health issues globally and organize efforts in support of mental health. The theme for World Mental Health Day 2021 is “mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality.”
World Health Organization (WHO) explains in detail the effects of mental health internationally. WHO is working to improve the mental health of individuals and society through the promotion of mental health, the prevention of mental disorders, the protection of human rights, and the care of people affected by mental disorders. There are 10 facts noted by WHO that demonstrates the impact of mental health globally.
At ACE, we are dedicated to Social Emotional Learning which has been proven to decrease the number and lessen the severity of mental health disorders. When you know how to identify emotions, manage emotions, and communicate about your mental health, you're more likely to reach out for help. Our work is deeply rooted in mental health, so we want to make sure that everyone has the skills they need to be able to cope and handle life's stressors.
Mental Health Resources:
CDC: People Seeking Help
National Institute of Mental Health: Help for Mental Illnesses
6 Facts Parents Should Know about Mental Illness in Teens
31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health
Self-Care: 12 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself
Teachers: Protecting Your Mental Health
12 Resources to Help You Address Mental Health in Schools
The Trevor Project: For Young LGBTQ Lives
Birmingham Local Mental Health Resources
The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
Research shows that nonviolent resistance works better than violence.
“Countries in which there were nonviolent campaigns were about 10 times likelier to transition to democracies within a five-year period compared to countries in which there were violent campaigns — whether the campaigns succeeded or failed.” - Erica Chenoweth.
Our goal in Social and Emotional Learning programming is to give people the skills to be able to resolve conflicts with nonviolent strategies. Everyone encounters conflict almost daily, with friends, family, strangers, co-workers, and others. Below you'll find tips to be able to hone your conflict resolution skills and give those skills to your students or children.
To choose the best conflict resolution method in any given situation, you need to consider several factors, such as:
Being able to choose and apply the best conflict resolution strategy effectively is made possible by developing better conflict resolution skills. Examples of conflict resolution skills that can help you include the ability to:
International Day of Peace is a global celebration recognized on September 21 as a time for all mankind to commit to peace and contribute to a culture of peace. Peace is best defined as tranquility or freedom for disturbance. The theme of this celebration for 2021 is “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World.”
Ways schools can create a peaceful classroom environment
Ways to promote peace
We're excited to announce that we're a participating organization in Youth & Peace in Action sponsored by NewGen Peacebuilders which was kicked off today in celebration of International Day of Peace!
Here are resources about youth and peace initiatives:
We celebrate the histories, traditions, and cultures of Hispanic and Latinx Americans from September 15 to October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month. We recognize and appreciate all cultures from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Nation-wide celebrations began in 1968 with a significant date of September 15 the anniversary of Independence Day for Latin America. Mexico and Chile recognize their Independence Days as September 16 and September 18, respectively. Columbus Day is a national holiday celebrated on October 18. All of these significant dates are celebrated within a 30-day observance.
FIESTABHAM is Alabama’s largest celebration of Hispanic culture and heritage. Gather together at Birmingham Linn Park from 12:00-8:00 pm on Saturday, September 25!
There are several major influential Hispanic Americans to recognize during this month. Rita Moreno is best known for her role in West Side Story. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, is considered a major voice for Hispanic Americans in politics. Julia Alvarez is a well-known Dominican American writer. Sylvia Rivera is an icon in the gay and transgender rights movements. Roberto Clemente paved the way for Hispanic Americans in Major League Baseball.
National Hispanic Heritage Month
15 Influential Hispanic Americans Who Made History
Cultural Insights: Communicating with Hispanics/Latinos - CDC
How to Be An Ally Outside of Hispanic Heritage Month
Recognizing and Celebrating the Impacts of the Hispanic Community
They’re Coming to America: Immigrants Past and Present Lesson
Hispanic and Latino Heritage and History in the US
Call Me Latine
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among adolescents that have the potential to cause serious, lasting problems. There are three main types of bullying that are common among school-aged children such as verbal, social, and physical bullying. This behavior can happen at school, after school, off school grounds, and on social media. An important goal to achieve in respect of bullying should be to always have a safe space for bullied children to speak about their issues. Lines of communication should always remain open for school-aged children. When discussing bullying with students, there should be an importance placed on the complete understanding of bullying and its long-lasting effects.
This discussion about bullying prevention named How To Talk About Bullying So Teens Will Listen demonstrates a great way to implement the importance of being an advocate when witnessing the act of bullying.
What Teens Can Do
How to Talk About Bullying
What is Bullying
Tips for Discussing Bullying with Teens
ACE's Heritage Panel addresses bullying and discrimination in schools through interactive discussions with students on how to create change and be an ally in their school. ACE's first Heritage Panel of the year was with John Carroll Catholic High School. Click here to read their school newspaper's article about the program.
In America, mental health is vital that all aspects of mental health systems be transparent of the diverse communities that they serve. Mental health businesses strive to become and remain cultural competent to our communities. A cultural system includes skillsets, attitudes, rules and policies to ensure that it is helpful in addressing the needs of people and their families with diverse values, beliefs, and sexual orientations. It's also important to include backgrounds that vary by race, ethnicity, religion, and language.
The different worldly and cultural challenges to service in urban America displays the effectiveness of current models of this practice. Urban behavioral health needs remains the same due to lack of available staff, competent providers, social society, fear of lack of privacy, lack of financing and reimbursement issues due to lack of funding and insurance, lack of mental substance with physical health, no efforts of prevention, transportation difficulties, and low numbers in providers.
Below are a few resources to learn more about this matter.
SEL is defined as “how children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions."
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework identifies five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
As more attention is paid to "educating the whole child," SEL practices have been embedded in a growing number of classrooms across the country. Educators are aware that these skills play a critical role in determining how well-equipped children will be to meet the demands of the classroom.
The research is clear that SEL is key to successful student performance, especially in preschool and elementary school.
For example: Lindsey Jensen, however, is frustrated by what she sees as a main focus on academics. Over the past month, Jensen, a high school teacher in Chicago has participated in countless zoom meetings with colleagues and school leaders. The topic of emotional and trauma support for students has barely registered. SEL needs to be a more prominent focus in our school systems. These skills will prepare our children for the world and everyday life.
There are simple ways to integrate Social and Emotional Learning into your classroom and school. It's important to note that each student has different needs and considerations when it comes to SEL and academics, so they might not need a 'one size fits all' curriculum. Integrating SEL into academics is a guaranteed way to do both things at once, saving you time and money. Below are tactics from the Aspen Institute's National Commission on Social Emotional, and Academic Development. [From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope] & Berkeley.
1. Build Adult Expertise: The more SEL skills your teachers and staff have, the better the students will learn from them.
2. Transform learning settings so they are safe and supportive for all young people.
3. Embed these skills in academics and schoolwide practices.
School is finally in session from a long year of virtual learning. Students may have gotten comfortable with not interacting with other students and their peers, so in case of conflict in your classroom, we'd like to equip our teachers with social and emotional learning resources. No matter what the dispute is over, educators should know that conflict is not abnormal inside or outside the classroom.
Helping students resolve conflicts with their peers is an important asset to the classroom atmosphere. Teachers shouldn't solve the problem for the students, but should rather resolve allow students to resolve their own problems to prevent lateral damage to their conflict-resolution and problem-solving skills.
Developing these skills in children as early as possible is vital to their interpersonal success.
As quoted from, Carolyn Coffey, a preschool teacher at Educare New Orleans,
“We’re teaching them the right way to respond to conflicts, to use self-control and calm themselves,” she says. “If we wait until they get to fourth grade or even middle school, they’ve already learned in practice what they’re going to do in order to resolve something… and it might not be the best way.”
To learn more about how conflict should be handled in the classroom, visit a few of our resources below.
Teach Kids How to Manage Conflict
Easing Kids into the Classroom
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