Connect4Kids

Who are we?

Connect4Kids is a PTO sponsored parent group committed to advancing the principles and values of social and emotional learning for student-teacher success in the Lincoln School community and beyond.

What is social emotional learning?

Social and emotional learning (“SEL”) refers to the process by which children develop the skill sets involved in self awareness, social awareness, self management, relationship management and responsible decision making. These are skills that provide the foundation for school and life success.

C4K Mission Statement

In existence since the fall of 2012, Connect4Kids is a parent group committed to advancing the principles and values of social and emotional learning (“SEL”) in collaboration with teachers for student success in the Lincoln School community within District 90.  The group seeks to:

  • increase parent understanding of SEL and it’s positive impact on their children’s success
  • support teachers in their quest to serve the whole child through PTO funded  classroom enhancements
  • encourage staff to provide consistent SEL home links which reinforce what is being taught in school
  • collaborate with the Police department on improving communication  between home and school through their school community program
  • seek opportunities to infuse activities with SEL focus during the school day that directly impact students & teachers
  • provide teachers and parents with the opportunity to see top quality guest speakers to increase their understanding of topics relevant to our students and families at least once per calendar year
  • investigate creative ways with teachers to offer extra curricular opportunity for movement before and after school and potentially during the school day using PTO funding
  • offer SEL enrichment to parents and teachers through a guest speaker night and  infuse SEL programs from an outside professional during the school day for children. (Carrie Goldman)

How does Connect4Kids accomplish these goals?

We accomplish these goals through a variety of programs including parent enrichment/guest speakers, providing an SEL section at the school’s annual book fair, hosting a family night, and most recently, the Spring  installation of a “Buddy Bench” on Lincoln’s Franklin side playground.  See below for more details on each of these programs.

Parent Forums / Creative SEL Programing

During the past 3 years (2012-2015), Lincoln has hosted a variety of speakers focused on social emotional related topics.  Here are a few:

  • Sheryl Stoller, “Finding Balance in a Media-Filled World”
  • Melissa Black Ford, “Raising Appreciative Children”
  • Lara Field, “FEED Your Kids Wisely”
  • Jim Bloch and Bob Pieper of The Team, “Cultivating Positive Athletic Experiences”
  • Carrie Goldman, award winning author & speaker, “Social Conflict and Our Children”. Carrie spoke to teachers at the elementary and middle levels for a special inservice program.  She worked at each grade level with students at the middle school. She also spoke to parents at the elementary and middle school levels

Buddy Bench

  • A “buddy bench” will be installed in September of 2015.  The buddy bench is intended to serve as a safe place for children to let others know that they would like a playmate or have a chat about their feelings with an adult.  We will follow up every fall to reintroduce the purpose of the buddy bench at our school wide assembly

Connect with your Family Night

  • Connect4Kids has held two successful Connect With Your Family nights.  The purpose of this initiative has been to provide meaningful opportunities to interact with family and friends. During the family fun night games were provided by Geppetto’s Toy Box, books by Magic Tree bookstore, a local yoga teacher led the children in yoga poses, the Juice Joint provided nourishing juices, and handouts were provided on SEL topics.  The group plans to hold upcoming events with a similar focus.  

Book Fair Collaboration

  • Connect4Kids provides the book fair coordinator with relevant SEL titles chosen by the teachers at Lincoln and through our own research.  

Lunch Time Leaders

  • Connect4Kids rewrote the Lunchtime Leader duties to facilitate positive meaningful SEL duties for fourth graders helping peers at lunchtime

Potential Future Projects

    • Connect4Kids is looking into ways to help teachers promote movement during the school day.   The group hopes to look into the potential programs before, during, and/or after school that offer movement opportunities for the children
    • Mindfulness training for parents, teachers and staff
    • Providing stress relief opportunities for teachers and students
    • Ongoing parent, teacher and student education