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Reflecting on the ExpandED SEL Convening 2022: Belonging and Excelling Toward a Bright Future Part 2

This April, Arete Education had the remarkable honor of joining fellow SEL Educators and exceptional EQ-minded professionals in facilitating the ExpandED Schools SEL Convening 2022: Belonging and Excelling Toward a Bright Future. This annual event was curated to lead members of the SEL educational community in networking and in learning promising SEL practices. Arete was asked to co-facilitate the Breakout Room focused on SEL Frameworks and Models. We shared Arete’s SEL Curriculum and the SEL Module II model with a wider audience, and in turn, received numerous SEL resources and praise from others. This 4-part Reflection will share the highlights and takeaways from the Convening and also challenge the readers to join the SEL conversations.

Feel free to explore the resources below:

· Session Slides and Resources (presenter slides/videos)

· Session Recordings

The Convening was sectioned into four parts. The second portion was The City Artifact Shareout, which is a space for selected SEL Educators and professionals to share the resources they utilized to help guide EQ activities within their communities. This year, seven eager SEL experts volunteered their go-to tools. This article highlights three.

  1. Tozyea Reed (Dallas, TX) - SEL Calm Corner are physical spaces designed to help students check in with themselves. In these spaces are handouts, and hands-on tools for self-awareness and mindfulness.

  2. Kara Hader (Tulsa, OK). - Yale University’s Mood Meters are color-coded zones that help students identify their moods and that mood intensity. These meters are helpful in setting up norms and practice for noticing how you feel and then regulating those emotions.

  3. Lavone Walker (Omaha, NE) - Vibratone is a percussion bell that is used to focus group attention. At the sound, SEL student practitioners are intentionally centering.

Other impactful artifacts shared included Cooking Clubs for kids and staff, SEL Calm kits, and stipends geared at SEL initiatives. All of the artifacts provided takeaways that could be specified to our own communities and EQ practices.

The Arete SEL Challenge: Thank you for reading this article. As a part of our growing SEL community, we invite you to join the conversation. Which of Adams's highlighted artifacts interests you the most? Which of the briefly mentioned artifacts would you like to hear more about? Do you have any cool SEL artifacts to share?

 - 05/09/2022 - Nicoise Waring
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Reflecting on the ExpandED SEL Convening 2022: Belonging and Excelling Toward a Bright Future Part 3

This April, Arete Education had the remarkable honor of joining fellow SEL Educators and exceptional EQ-minded professionals in facilitating the ExpandED Schools SEL Convening 2022: Belonging and Excelling Toward a Bright Future. This annual event was curated to lead members of the SEL educational community in networking and in learning promising SEL practices. Arete was asked to co-facilitate the Breakout Room focused on SEL Frameworks and Models. We shared Arete’s SEL Curriculum and the SEL Module II model with a wider audience, and in turn, received numerous SEL resources and praise from others. This 4-part Reflection will share the highlights and takeaways from the Convening and also challenge the readers to join the SEL conversations.

Feel free to explore the resources below:

· Session Slides and Resources (presenter slides/videos)

· Session Recordings

The Convening was sectioned into four parts. The third portion was The City Networking Session, and participants had a choice of three Breakout Rooms. The Breakout Room discussions were focused on Strengthening Community Partnerships, Youth Voice, and Policy and SEL Working Groups, respectively. I joined the Youth Voice room since Arete’s Vision, Mission, and Motto are aligned with youth advocacy and SEL Leadership. The facilitator, Farhen Johnson, was phenomenal in delivering this thought:

 “SEL can’t work if it’s being done to you. However, SEL can work if we are speaking life into each other and showing up for one another.”

She drove home her point by challenging us with this thought:

“ SEL is a thread. How can we braid it in culturally?"

I took this as: Where in Arete’s program can we emphasize beneficial customs and observations based on our specific cultures and experience?

The key is developing a Connected Environment. Johnson listed four strategies for developing Connected Environments:

  1. Know Names

  2. Practice Emotional Checks

  3. Introduce Community Circles

  4. Keep all spaces in alignment

 - 05/09/2022 - Nicoise Waring
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Reflecting on the ExpandED SEL Convening 2022: Belonging and Excelling Toward a Bright Future Part 1

This April, Arete Education had the remarkable honor of joining fellow SEL Educators and exceptional EQ-minded professionals in facilitating the ExpandED Schools SEL Convening 2022: Belonging and Excelling Toward a Bright Future. This annual event was curated to lead members of the SEL educational community in networking and in learning promising SEL practices. Arete was asked to co-facilitate the Breakout Room focused on SEL Frameworks and Models. We shared Arete’s SEL Curriculum and the SEL Module II model with a wider audience, and in turn, received numerous SEL resources and praise from others. This 4-part Reflection will share the highlights and takeaways from the Convening and also challenge the readers to join the SEL conversations.

Feel free to explore the resources below:
· Session Slides and Resources (presenter slides/videos)
· Session Recordings

The Convening was sectioned into four parts:

  1. The Welcome and Key Note Speech
  2. The City Artifact Share-out
  3. The City Networking Session,
  4. SEL Professional Development

The keynote speaker was David Adams, CEO of Urban Assembly, and the premise of his presentation was to drive home how Belonging truly influences one’s purpose and need for education. The main text of reference was W.E.B Dubois' The Souls of Black Folk. This literary work revealed to Adams several insights. He emphasized three:

     1.) The purpose of Education is to transform from a carefree man to a thoughtful man, and the responsibility of each educated person is to help us all through the struggles and into progress.

     2.) To belong is to understand your responsibility to the group, and the group's responsibility to you. Being named and claimed can be healthy and helpful.

     3.) Burdens are easier to bare if everyone carries their own weight. Keep in mind that the strengths need never be unformed, as long as their benefits are mutual.

In closing, Adams reiterated the importance of belonging to and in educated communities by emphasizing the standstill politics places on education. Adams expressed that when education is guided through teaching rather than learning, a student’s scope is narrowed. The solution to teacher-centered education is in our shared characters, groups, and mutually shared experiences.

The Arete SEL Challenge: Thank you for reading this article. As a part of our growing SEL community, we invite you to join the conversation. Which of Adams's three insights were most impactful to your concept of belonging? What are some of the groups you proudly belong to?


 - 05/09/2022 - Nicoise Waring

Grounded in SEL

Last month, we kicked off our SEL in the Curriculum, a monthly workshop series! This work is targeted to support Enrichment Specialists, Teachers, and Support Staff implementing Arete’s SEL Practices during their time with students.

 Our goals for this first session were :

1.)  Introduce the documents in the SEL in the Curriculum Workshop drive space and how to access them. 

2.) Highlight the Arete SEL & EQ Activities for immediate implementation 

3.) Engage and practice 2-3 of the Arete SEL & EQ Activities

As the participants gained access to the drive space, it wasn’t long before they all began to select ideal Icebreakers and exercises their students would be just as excited to experience. As a group, we engaged in an SEL Check-in Question, Deep Breathing, and Plutchik Wheel Color Check-outs. 

Of the session, Nicoise Waring said: "As a facilitator, I absolutely enjoyed the in-person engagement and smiles from personal EQ moments. The feedback received supports the adaptive nature of the SEL in the Curriculum workshops to instructors’ and students’ needs. I’m thrilled and I look forward to our workshop next month!"

These are just a few of the many exercises our staff will share with our students. As we sow these seeds, we hope to fuel the growth that will lead to our students sharing the fruit of these practices with the community!

 - 11/09/2021 - Ismael Valentin, Jr.
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Summer Bridge (Rising) Enrichment Club Highlights – Story Movers

We are excited to continue highlighting our enrichment clubs that were running ths summer. Story Movers was led by Rose Padilla and Yarley Martinez, alumni from The Lab School. In Story Movers, Rose and Yarely work hard with their students to allow them to showcase the skills that they have. Story movers is not only about students performing arts but expressing themselves. During the last week of program, they had decided to split up their class into different groups based on what the students wanted to do. One group which included around 5 students decided to practice a dance. The group of students made up their own dance, which I found amazing. Seeing students take the initiative and do something that normally is led by a facilitator was incredible. Not only did the students create the dance, there were other students who were practicing their singing while others were working on what they wanted to showcase. Seeing each of these students showcase their talent allows us to continue working with student talent all year round. 

 

We are excited to showcase more of the arts side to the program as it will allow us to continue showcasing the amazing talent that these students have. 

Each of these clubs holds a special place in our students' hearts, and so it's up to us to make sure that these students receive what they need. 

Be sure to check out our Instagram Page and Website for any updates, announcements or newsletter regarding the summer program.

 - 09/03/2021 - Mariyam Sumareh

Summer Bridge (Rising) Enrichment Club Highlights – Table Tennis and Fitness

Welcome to Table Tennis & Fitness Enrichment Clubs for Summer Bridge 2021. 

The Table Tennis Club is led by Ms. Millye (also the Middle School Team Softball Coach), Mr. Ohl (also a teacher at The Lab School), and Ms. Amy (a new member of our Arete family this summer). Table Tennis is a competitive game; however, it is a sport that many students wouldn't look upon first. Interestingly, Table Tennis is one of the most popular clubs and was the first Enrichment club to be fully enrolled this summer. Students enjoy Table Tennis as they feel they are challenged beyond their limits. With Table Tennis, students are able to acquire patience as well as strategic skills. To know how you want to strike your opponent, you need a strategy. Within this club, we see different students strategizing in different ways. We see some students who like to hit their ball with a spin, and then we have some students who like to back-hand from the start. It's amazing to see youth taking charge in a sport like this one. 

 

We also would like to highlight the Fitness Club this summer. Fitness is led by Emily Robles, Ranffy Perez, and Ali Sumareh, who are all Alumni from The Lab School. Fitness allows students to freely express themselves while also challenging them to go above and beyond phyiscally. With fitness, middle school students are able to learn about the importance of working out but also being active. Being active is essential to the youth as they need the consistent reminder regarding their health and wellbeing. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, students are in the gym playing a variety of different sports. As shown to the left, students are in a circle playing volleyball with their instructors. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students are in the cafeteria, hallway, or fitness center doing different activities, ranging from running, working out, or doing different sets. 

Students from both of these enrichment clubs enjoy them and are always active when it comes to participating. 

Stay tuned for next week's post as we will continue to highlight the different clubs that we have for Summer Bridge! 

Be sure to check out our Instagram Page and Website for any updates, announcements or newsletter regarding the summer program.

 - 08/24/2021 - Mariyam Sumareh
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Splish Splash Friday Bash - Summer Bridge (Rising)

Arete interns and staff members once again came together to create the final water activity for the Summer Bridge students this past Friday while still following COVID-19 guidelines. Students came prepared to play and have a bit of fun before the big Showcase event occuring next Thursday on August 5th. This water activity was conducted once again by the ever creative Amy Arizmendi, Secretary and Family Advocate

There were 3 stations in this Splish Splash Friday Bash.

Station #1

Consists of the first person in line acting as the catcher, who will need to catch three balloons that will have to be popped over their head to try and catch as much water in the funnel as possible.

As soon as the catcher catches and pops three balloons, they will be able to move on to Station #2.

Station #2

This station has a bucket of water with three sponges. The objective is to soak the three sponges with as much water as possible and while holding it over one's head, squeeze as much as one could into the funnel. 

In Station #3

An inflatable pool is filled with gold coins and water. Each student has to dig and pick up a coin with a number, representing the number of balloons they would grab and toss into a bucket.

 

To conclude this blog we would like to say a heartfelt Thank You! to all the staff members and interns for making this summer extremely successful while following COVID19 safety protocols

These fun activities helped students to shift their focus from academic learning and send them home happy after being able to let loose with their friends. 

 - 08/03/2021 - Ismael Valentin, Jr.
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Summer Bridge (Rising) Enrichment Club Highlights - Creative EQ and Guitar

This week at The Lab School, we are diving into two enrichment activities at a time. Welcome to Creative EQ and Guitar

 

Creative EQ is led by Nicoise Waring, who specializes in SEL. SEL is Social Emotional Learning and EQ is Emotional Intelligence. With SEL, students are able to take a step back from all that they are dealing with for a moment. Students are able to perform breathing exercises, do check-ins and reflect on their day. It's important that everyone finds time in their day whether it's 5 minutes or 10 minutes to take a break from everything that they are doing and get in touch with themselves.

 

This week in Creative EQ, Ms. Waring led her students through making masks. One thing about Ms. Waring is that she loves showing her students new things while also acknowledging cultural events that happen around us. Students had the opportunity to either make masks on the Day of The Dead or do something related to the Black Lives Matter Movement

 

While in Guitar, which is led by Marcelo Cardozo, students were able to learn about music and the way that they can play. Mr. Cardozo has provided a safe space for the students to get comfortable enough to play a new instrument. 

 

While being in the classroom, we saw students learning a new piece of music. It was fascinating seeing the younger students play such an instrument with care and ease. Although these students were beginners to playing, they had the knowledge and right mentor leading them. Mr. Cardozo has been with The Lab School before, and so he knows how to handle our students with care. 

 

Each of these clubs holds a special place in our students' hearts, and so it's up to us to make sure that these students receive what they need. 

 

Stay tuned for next week's post as we will continue to highlight the different clubs that we have for Summer Bridge/Summer Rising! 

Be sure to check out our Instagram Page and sign up to receive our weekly newsletters regarding the summer program.

 - 07/30/2021 - Ismael Valentin, Jr.
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Splashing into Summer Bridge

As the Summer Bridge Program continues staff members, program coordinators and interns have all come together to develop an organized water play activities for the students while still following COVID-19 guidelines.

Splash Organized Water Play Activities

The activities consisted of two different games lasting 30 minutes each for every class divided by their enrichment clubs. First, we have Battle of Enrichment Clubs (Water Balloon Toss) consisting of two teams. The instructions were well developed giving the students an understatement of how the game worked.

"Thank you for letting us have this much fun"- 6th grader 

Second, we have the Fishing Pool, on the way our students will have the opportunity to grab water ducks giving them all prices! Many students enjoy the weather while playing games and having fun!

 

Our host Amy Arizmendi at her full potential giving the participants positive attitude!

Here we have Staff Members directing students how the game works!

We have more surprises coming along...
Stay Tuned!!
 - 07/28/2021 - Ismael Valentin, Jr.

Summer Bridge (Rising) - First Day!

Written by Mariyam Sumareh

Today marks the first day of Summer Bridge for the students at The Laboratory School of Finance & Technology! It is exciting to see many young faces gathered after the year we have experienced. Throughout today, students across the grades engaged in academic and enrichment activities.

We had over 100 students attend summer programming, and we are excited to keep the momentum going. One thing for sure is that today has been a success. It's exciting to know that this is some students' first time being in the building while doing their whole sixth grade experience virtually and were able to engage with their classmates and instructors.

Through all of the first day challenges, we were able to get it done thanks to the students’ flexibility and the drive of all of the amazing staff. Students were able to sample the enrichment activities, exploring and getting a taste of each club so that by the end of tomorrow they can choose where they would like to be for the remainder of the summer.

The enrichment activities available to students this summer are:

  1. Guitar

  2. Fitness & Sports

  3. Visual Arts

  4. Performing Arts

  5. Table Tennis

  6. Creative EQ/Ceramics

  7. STEM 101

  8. Debate

Take a look at what our students had to say about their first day:

“Today was awesome. I got to meet new teachers and classmates. I got to learn more stuff about the school. So now I’m prepared for the school year.” - Juelz Perdomo, 6th Grade

 

“My day went good because I got to make new friends and I got to see new faces. It was good to get to know the teachers” - Juliet Flores, 7th Grade

 

“My first day here today was fine as we did a lot of fun things like play a game for our birthdays and engaged in Ice breakers” - Anonymous student, 8th Grade

 - 07/07/2021 - sbsd@areteeducation.org

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