Located 40 miles east of Dallas, Terrell Independent School District’s leadership and educators are in the business of innovating so their students can “expect more, achieve more.” Realizing that social emotional learning fuels academic achievement, the district recently purchased Momentous Institute’s newly developed Changemakers: A Social Emotional Learning Curriculum, for all five of their elementary schools.

Changemakers is a social emotional learning curriculum for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade that uses both a trauma and equity lens to integrate mental health best practices into education. Through a series of free-standing lessons, strong social emotional health is made a priority with the goal of increasing student empathy, kindness and compassion – all of which has been shown to boost academic achievement. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a national leader in this work, named Changemakers a SELect curriculum, their highest designation.

Terrell ISD administrators shared their excitement in implementing this curriculum as it supports teachers through skill building in the classroom and provides intentional ways to support students. “I truly believe that our partnership will garner outcomes far beyond and we all will be better because of it,” says Dr. Larry Polk, Assistant Superintendent.

For Momentous Institute’s Innovation & Impact team, the collaboration with Terrell ISD started with listening and learning: to understand the district’s history, and how best to honor the current classroom environment. This foundation led to the incorporation of trauma-informed strategies into daily lessons and support for teachers as they face challenges in the classroom.

Teacher training has already begun, as the district prepares to utilize the curriculum in 67 classrooms from pre-K through 2nd grade, beginning in August 2021. Momentous Institute is excited to continue this partnership with Terrell ISD as we collaborate to raise up changemakers in our communities.

Interested in learning more about Changemakers? Email Kelly Richmond, Changemakers Support Coordinator at curriculum@momentousinstitute.org.

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