WEST GROVE, PA — This summer, seven students from Avon Grove High School (AGHS) attended a Life Skills Conference to learn about the philosophy and practice of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Through a variety of fun, trust-building and problem-solving activities, students learned about themselves and how to form healthy relationships with others. Participants left with a new perspective, and plan to share SEL practices with peers upon returning to school.
“With students leading this initiative, people will hear this in a much different way,” stated AGHS Principal Scott DeShong. The SEL philosophy is centered around self-reflection, social awareness, relationships and responsible decision making.
“We need to make sure everyone has an understanding of what SEL is before we can develop it,” stated Dr. Jeremy Curtis, director of pupil services for Avon Grove School District (AGSD). The goal is for staff and students to feel connected, accepted and valued, and to foster a cultural shift towards understanding, compassion and empathy for others.
AGHS Social Studies Teacher Amanda Cahill, a lead facilitator at the Life Skills Conference, selected students who expressed a desire to support SEL initiatives to attend. The conference is a week-long overnight camp, directed by Thom Stecher and Associates, an organization dedicated to assisting educators and students in maximizing their potential. Thom Stecher & Associates has been working with AGSD for two years in an effort to integrate SEL into the curriculum.
Source: Avon Grove School District
Image: From left: Bria Nartey (sophomore), Reece Farrell (junior), Joe Daghir (junior), Ms. Amanda Cahill (Lead Facilitator), Alexis Cordova Bernal (junior), Noah Lennon (sophomore), Amber Hayward (junior) and Owen Mahoney (senior).
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