New school program helps Sioux Falls youth express emotions
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Several Sioux Falls elementary schools have implemented a new mental health program that uses emoji and educational videos to help young students better understand how they’re feeling.
Cleveland Elementary is among the elementary schools in the district that are using the Move This World program this school year, the Argus Leader reported. The program offers online curriculum and videos that teach students about bullying prevention, stress management and conflict resolution, among other things.
Mitchell Sheaffer, the school’s principal, said the program also helps teachers identify which students might need extra support.
“All of our teachers are great at identifying and reading kids when they come in through the door in the morning, but this might kind of take them to that next level to see where they’re at,” he said.
Teacher Lindsey Olson said she uses a list of about 100 emoji for students to reference throughout the day to express their emotions. She also has posters that encourage students to practice cool-down mechanisms or positive coping skills.
Olson uses the program’s videos to lead her students through movement exercises, including one that asks them to express their excitement level with different smiles and grins. Another video pushes students to celebrate their mistakes rather than criticize themselves.
Olson said the program has helped her students understand how to respond to the emotions they’re experiencing.
“Now as a class, we’re not only able to celebrate successes with each other, but push each other through some of those difficult times we have,” Olson said.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com