A merger of two social/emotional programs is producing proactive results at Overdale Elementary School.
Partnering with the Hillview Police Dept. and Chief Bill Mahoney, Counselor Tina Anderson explained how Second Steps and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program are being combined and taught to students.
“Chief Mahoney and I work together to deliver social/emotional learning along with the key components of the DARE program in a streamlined curriculum,” she said.
Social emotional skills being taught include self-awareness and management, responsible decision making, understanding others through empathy, positive relationships and communication skills and handling responsibilities and challenges.
“Chief Mahoney has been very supportive of our students at Overdale,” Anderson said. The duo invest 30 minutes monthly to co-teach these co-skills. DARE involves, how as students grow into responsible citizens, they can lead a happier and more productive drug-free life.
“We focus on topics from the WhyTry? program and reinforce skills taught by their teachers from the Second Step curriculum,” she said. “The icing on the cake is when Chief Mahoney adds the ‘real world’ component to our discussions and what he sees on job that relates to what we are learning.”
Anderson added that not only are students quite receptive to these life learning lessons, staff get into them as well.
“The children are very receptive and I appreciate the Overdale staff because the teachers stay and listen to our lessons, so they can continue learning in our absence throughout the month,” she affirmed. “This reinforces those teachable moments and builds relationships between the teacher and the student in a time of need. It helps bridge the communication between the student and the teacher by providing opportunities for discussing those tough topics and bad experiences coming from home.”