live / 2018

The Whole School Approach to a Safer & Happier Community

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Activation Challenge by Roots & Wings Institute of Social and Emotional Learning

We address the roots of violence and stress to ensure our children will have the wings to set them free to achieve a joyful life.

Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

We teach psychological tools that are proven to heal stress and increase joy in every student, staff & parent to create trauma-informed schools resulting in reduced bullying, truancy & disciplinary action. Instead of asking a student who’s misbehaved “what’s wrong with you?” We find out what happened to them and get to the root of the problem to teach them tools to heal and live to their potential. Our innovative, free parent workshops & teacher trainings further implement this approach.

Which of the live metrics will your activation impact?​

  • Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?

  • Digital organizing or activism
  • Trainings and/or in-person engagements
  • Influence individual behavior
  • Spreading awareness and increasing conversation about mental health

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to live?

Due to recent national events, children don’t feel safe attending their schools. Parents don’t feel confident sending their children to school. Teachers are overwhelmed, overworked and under-resourced.

Kids are anxious, over-scheduled, stressed out, exposed to too much too soon, and being bullied and teased. Families are disconnected, lacking psychological tools to navigate through a socially isolating world. Parents don’t know how to parent effectively and are either too permissive or too punitive. Kids are depressed and anxious and the adults in their lives don’t have the tools to know how to help.

Adverse childhood experiences can create negative, lasting impacts on a child’s development. Roots & Wings believes that the opportunity is now. We need to better understand our children and acquire tools to make raising children a joyful, transformational experience for both you and them.

Social Emotional Learning Specialists teach children mindfulness, techniques for emotional regulation and dealing with stress. They offer tools for conflict resolution and problem-solving. Done in groups through play & creative expression, children will develop critical life skills that are not taught elsewhere. The services provided will decrease rates of anxiety, depression, bullying & disciplinary action.

The Activated Potential School addresses all three levels of students needs from a low-level of misbehavior to repetitive and more serious behavior to serious, chronic and dangerous misbehavior. This model is originated from the work of Sugai et al at the University of Oregon.

Providing parents with access to free, positive discipline training led by a Certified Positive Discipline instructor will decrease child abuse and improve family cooperation & communication. Monthly parent workshops on topics such as social media, bullying, and more will promote constructive conversation among the community.

Providing teachers with training and ongoing support throughout the duration of the school year will help them feel more equipped to deal with classroom challenges. It will reduce teachers’ stress and burn out, allowing them to provide appropriate and beneficial support for their students. It will also provide teachers with communal language and ways to communicate with their families, creating cohesion between schools and families.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to live

Children and students in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District will experience a transformation in their school community. We will collect data that will then be used as a model for other schools - eventually implementing this program in LAUSD schools.

We will provide free, monthly parent workshops for the community. In addition to the weekly trainings for school parents.

We will encourage and facilitate open conversations about these pressing issues among all of our community members through workshops and events. We will send out educational documents that will detail tools & techniques from which all can benefit.

Hosting public events to encourage this conversation and awareness, we will seek volunteers who want to further facilitate and implement our mission.

We will provide bi-monthly documentary screenings followed by a Q & A with a Roots & Wings counselor at City Hall, all designed to improve mental health.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

We will define success as reducing adverse childhood experiences and measure it with research-validated assessments.

First, we will look at the mental wellness of the parents with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2 and PHQ-9) to assess of a parent’s level of mental well-being, consisting of two and nine questions, respectively. This will be a pre-test and post-test at the end of the year. We will also measure parent’s improvement in parenting style with pre-post testing (including measuring parent’s discipline style).

To assess improvement in the school, we will measure school-wide reports of bullying and teasing in the beginning and end of the year, and look for changes in suspensions and truancy over the year.

Finally, we will measure the students’ social emotional skills learned with the validated Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS) with these subtests:

  • Identifying Emotions: Faces & Stories

  • Understanding Emotions: Blends & Progressions & Relativity

  • Managing Emotions: Others & Self

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

In several Los Angeles school districts & communities nationwide.