$30,000 Action Award from NoVo Foundation for Social-Emotional Learning

The Foundation for Portland Public Schools (FPPS) has just received a $30,000 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in Action Award from the NoVo Foundation. This grant will support professional development and collaborative work between Portland Public Schools social studies teachers and clinical and behavior support staff to incorporate SEL practices into curriculum.

Social and emotional learning is the process of developing fundamental skills for life success within supportive, participatory learning environments. SEL skills include recognizing and managing emotions, developing caring and concern for others, establishing positive relationships and making responsible decisions. These crucial capacities will be taught as part of Facing History and Ourselves social studies units in Portland middle schools and high schools. Topics include Global Migration, the Reconstruction Era, and the Holocaust.

“All across the country, school districts are recognizing that a well-rounded education must be about more than higher test scores or rigid academic assessments,” said Jennifer Buffett, co-president of the NoVo Foundation. “These educators are showing us how to put this belief into action. They are a model for truly inspiring social and emotional learning initiatives that will strengthen the lives of students far into the future.”

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has named Facing History and Ourselves as a program with proven positive effects on students, such as improved academics, increased empathy, and increased prosocial behavior. The Novo SEL in Action Award will provide professional development to staff so that they can implement this new curriculum with integrity.