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Virtual Learning Response Fund | July 16, 2020

How Corporations and Community Organizations Amplify Happiness Through Emotional Learning

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Stress is a biological reaction that negatively impacts social relations, grades, mental health, and has long-lasting impacts. Nearly 70% of young people and adults report being in a state of mental distress due to stressors of work, necessary social change, health uncertainties, and monetary challenges.

Emotions sit at the center of supporting each other and standing up for justice. As our country finds itself experiencing civil unrest due to racial injustices combined with the challenges of a global health crisis, the power of emotional resilience and cultural responsibility becomes all-the-more evident. Like STEM, emotions can be taught and learned.

At Discovery Education, we support educators and students from all communities across the United States and world. But we find that education is so much more than textbooks and lessons: good education also includes social and emotional learning (SEL).

I recently had a discussion with LG Electronics USA, Inner Explorer, Wings for Kids, and The Allstate Foundation about the role of SEL in education as a way to empower students with the skills they need to make the world better. The session dedicated discussions to how organizations can support children’s emotional and mental health. Watch the full session here.

Together with Laura Barbieri – Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Relations at LG Electronics USA, Laura Bakosh – Co-Founder of Inner Explorer, Bridget Durkan Laird – CEO of Wings for Kids, Cheryl Hollis, Director of Programs – Wings for Kids, and Laura Freveletti – Senior Program Officer at The Allstate Foundation, we discussed how no-cost digital resources help students achieve sustainable happiness.

From classroom resources to at-home materials, the programs offered by the organizations on the session demonstrate the importance of integration. The integration of SEL into the classroom, home, and workplace is all about recognizing that the “economy is shifting,” said Laura from The Allstate Foundation. Our world is evermore “driven by ideas. The skills needed demand SEL skills.”

In building these skills, returns show up in all areas of life. Take, for example, the reality that students attending Title 1 schools experience higher levels of stress due to compounding factors of inequalities. Through SEL education, “we are creating situations in which they are able to practice their social and emotional skills,” said Cheryl from Wings for Kids. Programs, like those listed below, provide children the opportunity to be children while also equipping them with the skills needed to handle and address the stressors themselves.

Part of achieving meaningful impact is the unified emphasis upon SEL, as well as accessibility of resources. This is just one place where the importance of corporate and community responsibility steps in.

At Discovery Education, we remain steadfastly dedicated to supporting educators and families in the continuity of learning. We offer Discovery Education Experience that provides engaging high-quality content, ready-to-use digital lessons, creative collaboration tools, and practical professional learning resources to give educators everything they need to facilitate instruction and create a lasting educational impact in any learning environment.

But we also work to keep you connected, from the classroom and beyond, through programs focused on social and emotional learning. The leaders on the session each represent Discovery Education partnerships that offer unique and engaging student-centered content designed to spark lasting social and emotional wellness.

Discover Your Happy, in partnership with LG Electronics, focuses on mastering the six sustainable happiness skills to help students in grades 7-12 learn to reduce stress and identify actionable ways to bring happiness to their communities. Inner Explorer and The Allstate Foundation offer additional mindfulness resources as part of the LG Experience Happiness initiative.

Wings for Kids and The Allstate Foundation joined forces with Discovery Education to develop Soar with Wings, providing learning activities that incorporate academics and fun while building social and emotional skills with grades K–5. Soar with Wings also provides educators, youth leaders, and caregivers with tips and tools to help their children soar.

As Laura from LG Electronics USA identifies happiness is the skill to learn because “happy people are healthier, live longer, and do better in school.” At Discovery Education, it’s all about creating a lasting educational impact in any learning environment. Part of that equation is harnessing the power of partnerships to support education. The Distance Learning Response Initiative offers a place for the private, public and nonprofit sectors to invest in supporting distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond – delivering critical SEL resources and targeted teacher training at the school level to ensure student instructional needs are met, no matter the setting.

Together, we can all champion SEL education and awareness that withstands the unexpected in a way that builds deep and lasting connections with the local community.