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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.

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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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.

Teaching Internship 2020

Teaching Internship Program Description 

The Arete Internship Program recruits outstanding middle and high school students, as well as, alumni from the Lab School who are interested in pursuing careers in the field of education. As interns, they develop job readiness skills and experiences that enhance their college applications and job resumes. Interns are specifically trained to provide up to 5 hours per week of tutoring and mentoring services to middle schoolers who are struggling with remote learning assignments. The free virtual Tutor Program takes place during after school time (Monday - Friday, between 4 and 7 PM) in secure grade-level zoom supervised by Arete staff members. 

Each student who participates in the virtual Tutor Program is recommended by their teachers and approved by their guardians. Intern-tutors are provided with access to Google Classrooms and communicate with the teachers on a weekly basis in order to better prepare for their tutoring sessions. In order to keep teachers and families informed, tutors email weekly reports of their students’ progress. 

Interns learn about various education issues, are trained on specific teaching skills and engage in ongoing reflection to improve. Interns receive professional development in the areas of community outreach, social-emotional learning, lesson planning and overall job readiness. They participate in weekly meetings to track progress toward goals and collaboratively discuss ways to improve. In addition, each intern undergoes 3 observations per term as part of their job readiness evaluation. Their evaluation consists of data from observations, student progress reports, family and teacher surveys, as well as, their own self-assessments. 

Interns who successfully complete the program, walk away with an understanding and appreciation for what it takes to support students and families in their community. They exit their internship with specific job readiness skills that can be applied in many different types of work and professional settings. 


Below is a sample of an intern-tutor’s weekly schedule (interns can work up to 8 hours per week)

Watch Senior Intern Kailyn Espinosa share what she has learned about planning mini-lessons in this video where she presents a lesson she will use to train new peer-tutors.

 - 12/07/2020 - sbsd@areteeducation.org
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Restoration=Power (Self-Care and BLM)

The Black Lives Matter movement is not something that has recently emerged in America-- it has resurfaced. For centuries, America has been a place that has constantly neglected the issues at hand regarding black people. There have been constant battles from the Civil Rights Movement in the mid 1950s to the late 1960s, to the modern day Black Lives Matter movement that was started back in 2013, which is still very relevant till this day. Our American system is built on principles made to serve white men, and has been buried by slogans like “liberty and justice for all,” when in reality justice has countless times never been served for the black innocent lives lost due to the systemic racism present. 

It has been the job of the people to stand against the corrupt American system and fight for basic human rights that everyone is entitled to. There should not be a fight, but there is. There has been, and it will continue until the system is truly changed to serve everyone like they promised. 

The Black Lives Matter movement is particularly important to me because most of my life up to this point, I’ve been influenced by so many black people who have shaped me in ways unimaginable. From my childhood friends, my mentors, music teachers, and my family members I have felt so closely connected to, I feel so enraged about the current state of the country and bias against people who I have felt so much love for. Fighting for your personal community is a form of advocacy I have been exercising. Contributing to this movement and understanding why it is so important, is part of my own growth through continuously learning about shared worries black people around me and nationally have.

The worries black people share nationwide through social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram, have educated me and have brought awareness to issues that are far from the surface. As I’ve read and read through countless posts, articles, and looked at pictures, it instantly made me think if everyone deeply affected by the issues at hand have been taking care of themselves. It made me worried that the strong black people I am so inspired by through their bravery, were looking within and finding ways to stay in touch with themselves. Mental health during these times is incredibly important because sharing with the world your traumas and fears can be draining, so recharging is essential in the restoration of power. Through restoring oneselves power, your voice will be used to its full potential and clearly heard by those like me who are allies. 

Self-Care & BLM 

Many people don’t think that self-care is important during these times because there are greater problems to worry about and advocate for. However, advocacy looks different for everyone, and can actually be tied to anything relating to the honoration of black lives. For example:

  • Painting/Drawing: Painting and drawing are effective ways to perform self care because your focus will be turned over into your art instead of everything else. The problems going on don’t have to be ignored, but instead brought to light through art. Painting and drawing your feelings can help liberate your mind from the stressors contributing to your current worries.
  • Journaling: Journaling is a way where you can be completely honest with yourself and spill everything you have been feeling onto a piece of paper that no one else has to read. This will help in the organization of thoughts and feelings, making it easier to understand yourself and your feelings. This can also help you realize what you truly want to use your voice for the next time you speak up.
  • Reading: Reading is a form of escape from the real world into other stories that have nothing to do with you. Pulling out a book to read can help ease your mind but also give you new perspectives as you go. By reading books by black writers, you can take a trip into one of their stories and connect through their words.
  • Exercise/Dancing: Having feelings of frustration can psychologically be released through exercising. Dancing, more specifically is a gift that can be twisted in a way to serve you physically but also mentally. It is exercise, but also a fun activity to do with your family and friends. During these tough times, putting on music by black artists and dancing will be a way to enhance black artists' voices through your own self care.
  • Listening to Music/Making Playlists: alongside dancing, listening to music can be a great way to amplify black voices. The stories hiding within music can be an escape from reality, similar to reading books, and you get exposure to the works of art that these artists hold dear to their hearts no matter the genre.

My preferred self care activities would be dance and listening to music since they come hand in hand. Dancing has always been a way for me to destress and recharge myself. During these times I have dedicated myself to learning some dance routines to songs by black artists that I admire. One of these artists being Lizzo. Lizzo is not only an icon of being confidently beautiful, but an inspiration to the black community in general. A black successful artist who has done nothing but spread positivity and light; she should be celebrated through times like these. Black lives matter, her life matters, her father, uncles, cousins, brothers lives matter, and all of her black fans that she inspires matter. 

More on BLM and Music

I decided to make a BLM Playlist and put together songs that I have been listening to throughout this month. There’s a variety of genres included within the playlist so you can either skip around or listen directly through the whole playlist. I recommend listening to the whole playlist because new black creators can be exposed to you, and by streaming their music as a form of self-care, their voices will be magnified. Black lives matter, these artists’ lives matter, their fathers, uncles, cousins, brothers lives matter, and all of the black fans that these artists inspire matter. Here is the link to my playlist:

https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/blm-explicit/pl.u-Ymb09NqTP8Pm8G9

I urge everyone to engage in a form of self care during these times. The Black Lives Matter battle is nowhere near over and the movement needs activists who are strong and powerful. Restoration of power is essential in working towards a changed future, and we will get there. Like Lizzo once said:

You know what I want above all things? I want people who are aware of my music right now, to believe in change.”

 - 08/10/2020 - Rose Padilla

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