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License our Trauma Informed Social Emotional Learning Program

Register for the 2022 - 2023 School Year Now
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Introducing Our Sunshine School Social Emotional Learning Program

For the past year and a half, we developed a trauma informed social emotional learning (SEL) program to help school communities process the stress associated with the pandemic. It was developed by Anne Kubitsky, Founder & CEO, and Kari Yacawych, a veteran teacher. It's based off the Broaden & Build Theory in psychology and Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) - a therapeutic model which helps people undo their aloneness in the face of big emotions or traumatic memories.

Since this type of program takes time to prepare for, we are asking schools to register for the 2022 - 2023 school year now. Scroll down to learn more about our new Sunshine School Program to decide if it's the right fit for your community.

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Program Overview:

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The Sunshine School Program Starts with a Two-Week, Student-Led Gratitude Campaign

These First Two Weeks Cultivate a Safe Space for Kids to Savor Joy & Connect with "Sunshine Friends"

After a school-wide assembly, students practice sharing their gratitude on “Gratitude Spots” strategically placed around the school and a  “Gratitude Wall” of sticky notes. Acts of kindness are encouraged by passing "You Matter Cards" to anyone who is caught being kind, which empowers students to write a "You Matter Letter" to a safe, sunshine person who really matters to them. 

 

Schools in 35 States Have Already Benefited From Our Programming. Here's Some of Their Feedback:

 
Register Your School for the 2022 - 2023 School Year
 
 
 

Brooker Creek
Elementary School

Tarpon Springs, Florida

John H. Amesse Elementary School

Denver, Colorado

West Terrace 
Elementary School

Evansville, Indiana

Kids Share Their Experience:

 
 
 

Paul

Zoe

Marcus

During the Two Week Gratitude Campaign, Students Are Introduced to Our Wiggle Warrior® Training Which Continues for the Rest of the School Year

Register Your School for the 2022 - 2023 School Year

The Wiggle Warrior® Training Creates a Safe Space to Feel ALL Emotions

Especially stress. Because let's be honest, the last few years have been tough. If you need a little break right now, you can shrink your anxiety with this breathing exercise in the video.

 

Teachers Introduce Students to the "I'm Fine Box"

This concept makes it easier for students to identify when they are avoiding some of their emotions, or simply don't have the time to process them.

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This Heart Map is Posted Throughout the School: 

Adapted from Hilary Jacob's Hendel's Change Triangle®, The Heart Map is a powerful regulation tool to help a child move through their stress to a calm, open-hearted state.

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Teachers Then Use These Classroom Guides to Introduce Emotion-Themed Regulation Strategies:

(Teachers can pick and choose which units to present, and do not have to go in any particular order. This enables teachers to adjust the Wiggle Warrior® Training to meet the needs of their particular classroom.)

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Unit 1: Wiggle Warrior Training Overview

Students learn about the "I'm Fine Box" and how this box can be used when emotions get too big or overwhelming. They learn the value of stress and  and how to unpack their box and wiggle their stress into strength. They practice developing a "sunshine relationship" with themselves so that they can be curious about their stress, not critical.

CASEL Standards Alignment: Self Awareness & Self-Management

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Unit 2: Glad Emotions

The Sunshine Choice to be Grateful, Creative, Calm & Curious

Students are reminded of the Gratitude Campaign and introduced to Glad Emotions. They learn how to savor happiness and gratitude using deep breathing techniques. They learn how to channel inspiration, giddiness & excitement through Wiggle Warrior® activities - which prepares them to dive into more challenging emotions next.

CASEL Standards Alignment: Self Awareness & Self-Management

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Unit 3: Mad Emotions

The Sunshine Choice to be Clear & Calm

Students are introduced to Mad Emotions. They learn how to shrink their stress by wiggling and using deep breathing techniques. Students are taught how to transform their anger into clarity and calm by making a "Sunshine Choice" that is respectful, responsible, and kind. Emotions covered: Annoyed, Frustrated, Angry, Enraged & Apathetic.

CASEL Standards Alignment: Self Awareness & Self-Management

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Unit 4: Sad Emotions

The Sunshine Choice to Care for Oneself & Be Resilient

Students are introduced to Sad Emotions. They learn how to shrink their stress using deep breathing techniques. Students are taught how to transform their sadness into self-care and resilience by making a "Sunshine Choice" that is respectful, responsible, and kind. Emotions covered: Disappointed, Sad, Lonely, Rejected & Heartbroken.

CASEL Standards Alignment: Self Awareness & Self-Management

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Unit 5: Icky Emotions

The Sunshine Choice to Say No or Ask for Help

Students are introduced to Icky Emotions - Disgust & Resentment. They learn how to shrink their stress by wiggling and using deep breathing techniques. Students are taught how to transform their icky feelings into self-protection by making a "Sunshine Choice" that is respectful, responsible, and kind. They are also encouraged to learn how to ask for help if they are overwhelmed.

CASEL Standards Alignment: Self Awareness & Self-Management

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Unit 6: Afraid Emotions

The Sunshine Choice to be Courageous

Students are introduced to Afraid Emotions. They learn how to shrink their stress by wiggling and using deep breathing techniques. Students are taught how to transform their fear and anxiety into courage by making a "Sunshine Choice" that is respectful, responsible, and kind. Emotions covered: Uncertain, Anxious, Afraid, Panicked & Overwhelmed.

CASEL Standards Alignment: Self Awareness & Self-Management

Physical Copies of These Picture Books Are Shipped to the School to be Added to the School Library:

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Printable Student Activity Guides Are Provided to All Students to Help Keep Track of Their Progress:

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Student Activity Guide

Students learn to reframe their stress and "wiggle with it" until they can make a "Sunshine Choice" which is respectful, responsible and kind. This workbook helps them track their progress so that they can "befriend" all 24 emotions covered and earn the distinction of being a "Sunshine Friend."

Emotions Covered: Mad Emotions (5), Sad Emotions (5), Glad Emotions (5), Afraid Emotions (5), Icky Emotions (2) & Critical Emotions (2).

CASEL Standards Alignment: Self Awareness & Self-Management

 At the End of the Year, Student Leaders Run a Two Week Resilience Campaign to Celebrate Their New Ability to Wiggle Stress into Strength

Celebrating The Sunshine... AND The Storms

After progressing through all 6 units, students are ready to celebrate their ability to "wiggle through" a challenging experience. This end-of-year celebration honors their learning and gives the school community the chance to publicly share stories of resilience on a "We Can Make Our Own Sunshine" Wall to inspire one another. Since the level of sharing really depends on the school community, we have created different options for this celebration, including public speaking (as shown in this video). 

 

The Sunshine School™ Program is Based Off Highly Regarded Concepts in Psychology & Psychotherapy

Our Gratitude Campaign is Based on the Broaden & Build Theory

The Broaden and Build theory was first proposed by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson (one of our advisors!) as a way to address the lack of research on positive emotions and the greater emphasis on negative ones. Rather than arguing that positive emotions should replace negative emotions, Dr. Fredrickson argues that both positive and negative emotions are necessary to build resilience. The idea is that positive emotions like gratitude can build internal resources to cope with negative emotions, making people more resilient and flexible. 

 
 

Our Wiggle Warrior® Training is Based on the Work of Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW

We have done a lot of research to create this part of program which you can read about here. But our Wiggle Warrior® Training is most heavily inspired by the work of Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW. She is the author of the award-winning book, It’s Not Always Depression. Hilary received her BA in biochemistry from Wesleyan University and an MSW from Fordham University. She is a certified psychoanalyst and AEDP psychotherapist and supervisor, and has published articles in The New York TimesTimeOprah, and other major media outlets. Our "Heart Map" is an adapted version of the Change Triangle® Tool for Emotional Health.

Learn More About Hilary & Her Work

Register Now for the Next School Year

$1,000 per School Community
 

For School Districts of 10 or more schools, we can offer a discount - so please inquire!

We accept purchase orders as well as paper checks too. Please contact [email protected] for more info.