Education Dive August 20, 2018


mindSpark Learning Tackles Community-specific SEL Issues Across the United States

Educators from Abingdon, Virginia reflect on the touching Social-emotional Learning summit mindSpark Learning hosted on August 3

 
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Denver, CO/Abingdon, VA – mindSpark Learning, a non-profit dedicated to re-engineering education through educators with unique professional learning experiences for both the school leader and teacher, announced today that it has completed its second customized Social-emotional Learning (SEL) summit of 2018. The non-profit has hosted SEL events at its Lakewood, Colorado headquarters and in Abingdon, Virginia, impacting 28 schools from across the nation and reaching 722 educators.

According to the CDC, the Opioid Crisis claims the lives of 115 Americans each day. On top of that, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network found that two thirds of children in the country have experienced a traumatic event by the age of 16, whether they were a witness to violence or were directly assaulted. Supporting its efforts to positively impact communities through educators and better connect schools and their communities, mindSpark Learning addressed the Opioid Crisis and trauma head on in Abingdon, Virginia on August 3. County officials received a grant of $22,250 from mindSpark Learning’s $1 Million Grant for Education, funded generously by the Morgridge Family Foundation, to cover the costs of the summit, including a follow-up event to be held in November.

Attendees from the Washington County School District agreed the emotional summit, which brought many to tears throughout the day, provided invaluable learning points and tools they can integrate into their classrooms. Educators came away from the summit with a better understanding of how important self-care is in order to successfully do their jobs. Another key take away was how important SEL is for students, as they strive to help their students achieve more from their academic careers.

“I’ve been teaching for 20 years and so many times we’re focused on the core curriculum. This time, we are focusing on the kids,” said Wendy Cole, a seventh grade civics teacher at Damascus Middle School. “Students in the past 20 years have totally changed in the amount of baggage they bring to the classroom with them. Knowing how to deal with some of the problem areas we are going to encounter will be very helpful, and not just with the students, but also with us, in how we feel and interpret situations.”

“It was such an honor to work with the Washington County School District to develop and host this Social-emotional Learning summit around issues specific to the community,” said mindSpark Learning’s CEO Kellie Lauth, “Our team came away energized by the conversations and more enthusiastic than ever to bring our professional development support to more districts across the nation.”

For more information on customized summits and professional development trainings, please visit https://www.mymindsparklearning.org/professional-experiences/ or contact Melissa Sayre at melissa@mymindsparklearning.org.