Project is part of a newly launched national campaign
TAMPA, Fla. (April 21, 2020) — Faculty and graduate students in the University of South Florida’s College of Education have developed content that provides parents and educators with social emotional learning (SEL) strategies. This project, part of a national initiative, started in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to help families across the country navigate the rising mental health challenges associated with the disruption to daily lives and routines.
Named “ChooSELove To Thrive”, this series includes a “daily action” that promotes SEL supports for children and families. The campaign’s resources are delivered free of charge through email, social media and text messages for individuals who sign up online.
“Normally we expect about 20 percent of kids to experience a significant mental or behavioral health problem,” said Dr. Nathaniel von der Embse, an associate professor in USF’s School Psychology program who is overseeing the project. “COVID-19 has exacerbated this situation, and now we have three or four times as many kids with challenges, but there is no real increase in supports provided.”
Under von der Embse’s direction, USF graduate students created the resources as part of this project. While there are many SEL supports and mental health resources being provided by various organizations, von der Embse said what’s missing are evidence-based resources that can be delivered daily and are realistic for parents to complete.
The series was developed in partnership with the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, the Santoro Educational Lifeskills Foundation and the School Mental Health Collaborative housed at the USF College of Education. Parents and educators can sign up here.
The project team plans to produce daily tips and supports for parents and children for the next few months. The long-term goal of the partnership, von der Embse said, is for the team to develop online SEL modules that can be used by educators in both online and in-person environments, free of charge.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.