Connections Are Key To Supporting Social And Emotional Health
The pivotal role schools play in students' social-emotional wellbeing is on full display.
Reports of mental health crises have soared. Students lament the isolation from their peers and teachers. These have become the leading storylines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Survey Reveals Students' Mental Health Ranks Top Concern
What's the biggest concern for teachers right now? The mental health of their students.
The SMART survey responses echo research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Anxiety and depression in children and adolescents have doubled since before the pandemic.
But, teachers are determined to foster strong connections with their students and families. Half of the respondents reported that their connections with students have actually improved.
Celebrating Students Motivates Community Connection
Coeburn Primary School addressed this need for connection head-on with Awesome Kid Day. The goal? To celebrate the joy and promise that a new school year brings.
Coeburn serves the families of rural, Appalachian Virginia. As a Title 1 school, Coeburn acts as a beacon of hope to the low-income families whose children fill its classrooms.
The staff at Coeburn are bound by a shared vision, one founded in the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.” Teachers and staff make it a priority to provide a safe, welcoming place for children to grow and learn.
Amanda Blevins is the family engagement coordinator who first envisioned this annual celebration. To her, bringing together all the people involved in raising the children of the town is key.
“Whether they're a teacher, a parent, a coach, a neighbor, a principal, any positive role model, in that child's life determines what kind of adult they become,” Blevins said.