Living SEL: Why it matters

Here at Collaborative Classroom, we seek to forge connections with educators and leaders who believe in collaboration and lifelong learning. We are fortunate to be partnering with several organizations who exemplify these qualities in hosting an inaugural event in Illinois on June 7. The Living SEL: Practical Applications for PreK–12 Schools Conference—taking place in Downers Grove on what will hopefully be a warm and sunny early summer day—is an opportunity to learn from a variety of practitioners, researchers, and thought leaders on the current state of social and emotional learning in our schools.

I find inspiration and motivation in the words of our partners below as they describe their reasons for wanting to support this powerful learning experience and why SEL matters:

“The DuPage Regional Office of Education is proud to be a sponsor of the Living SEL Conference. We must understand that while student safety is our number one priority, we can’t strictly focus on the physical side of safety but must also include the social and emotional well-being of our students. It is the only way we can prepare children for success. I’m confident that this conference will bring our educators the tools, resources and strategies needed to help preschool through high school students thrive in school and in the future.”         

—Dr. Darlene Ruscitti
Regional Superintendent, 
DuPage Regional Office of Education

“Prevent School Violence Illinois (PSVI) is an anti-oppression and applied research organization that works closely with schools to improve culture and climate so that all youth thrive. PSVI is thrilled to partner with Collaborative Classroom on the Living SEL Conference to highlight the work of practitioners who connect the dots between social and emotional skill development, positive youth development, trauma-informed and restorative practices, and youth voice to create holistic safe and supportive spaces where educators can teach and youth can learn.”

—Sarah Schriber, JD
Director, Prevent School Violence Illinois

“Collaborative Classroom is a wonderful partner with Playworks as we both care deeply about the value of social and emotional learning and improving how kids feel at school throughout the day. Building relationships and modeling values of respect and inclusion are key strategies for our impacts on school partners across the country.”

—Colleen J. Harvey
Executive Director, Playworks

“CASEL supports the Living SEL Conference because our mission is to make social and emotional learning an integral part of education from pre-school through high school. Collaboration with partners in the field is one way to leverage collective experiences that maximize the impact of social and emotional learning in classrooms, schools and the community.”

—Ruth Cross
Senior SEL Consultant, CASEL

“Listening to Youth envisions communities in which young people play an authentic role in decision making and the development of solutions to broad-ranging injustices to create safer, healthier spaces for all people. LTY supports the Living SEL Conference because we want to share our experiences creating safe and supportive spaces that permit students and all youth to play these roles.”

—Sarah Schriber, JD and Maria McCabe, LCPC, Educational Consultant
Co-Directors, Listening to Youth

“Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Center for Childhood Resilience is delighted to partner with Center for the Collaborative Classroom on the Living SEL Conference. The conference is an important reminder that social and emotional learning remains critical to the success, mental and emotional well-being of children and youths in school; as well as foundational to their opportunity to thrive in life.”

—Colleen Cicchetti, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Center for Childhood Resilience

The conference will feature keynote presentations, roundtable and panel discussions, and break-out sessions that will equip participants with practical tools and strategies they can use in their own SEL work. You can learn more about this professional learning opportunity here. We hope educators in Illinois and surrounding areas will consider joining Collaborative Classroom and our partners for this inaugural event!