Opinion: Shout out for Social Emotional Wellness efforts

Anthony Allison

Anthony Allison is the executive director of Norwalk ACTS.

Shout Out to the Norwalk ACTS Social Emotional Initiative (SE) and its members who met last week to continue their collective work in support of the Social Emotional Wellness for all of Norwalk’s children and youth.

In April, the SE Initiative convened community partners to develop a framework to define what we want to be true for Norwalk’s children: social-emotional competencies including self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management, and relationship skills and a better understanding of what supports are needed to address and improve the mental health and well-being of all Norwalk’s children.

Out of the convening, two Working Groups were developed:

  • Social-Emotional Learning, focused on prevention and enrichment, building social-emotional competencies and mental wellness for children, during in- and out-of-school time; and

  • Mental Health/Trauma, focused on mapping the mental/behavioral health services that exist in the schools and community and examine capacity and alignment of resources.

In September, two investment opportunities – Promising Practices and The Accelerator Fund – were released through Strive Together, our national partner. These opportunities aligned with discussions among SE Initiative members and individual Working Group sessions and Norwalk ACTS applied for both.

The SE Initiative has partnered with Positive Directions to implement the Attitude & Behaviors Survey (A&B) to collect anonymous baseline data on the social-emotional health and well-being of Norwalk’s children.

Additionally, the SE Initiative members are hosting on – Thursday, November 8th at 6:30pm at the Center for Global Studies / Brien McMahon HS –  a free community screening of the award winning documentary Resilience – The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope.

And –

Shout Out to New York Times opinion columnist David Brooks and his piece –  “A Really Good Thing Happening in America” – that was published in the New York Times on October 8th. The column provides a great overview of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career methodology that Norwalk ACTS adheres to.



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