Momentous Institute’s mission is to build and repair social emotional health. However, what is social emotional health and why does Momentous Institute invest in it over other causes? The answers to these questions are vital to understanding the heartbeat of the organization.
Momentous Institute’s sole aim is to ensure equitable wellbeing so that all children reach their full potential. The most effective way to succeed in this feat is to prioritize social emotional health, the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions, reactions and relationships. With strong social emotional health, children develop safe relationships, learn to problem solve, demonstrate empathy, and become changemakers. Social emotional health is a powerful term because it prioritizes the whole child.
In March 2019, Momentous Institute’s own, Dr. Meroudjie Denis, had the opportunity to profile the impact of social emotional health in a TEDx talk, “Breaking the Myth of the Bad Student.” In it, she discussed how schools, administrators and educators must take, “steps to listen to the research and make appropriate changes to ensure every classroom…educates the whole child,” through a trauma-informed, educational approach. Imagine children who enter their classrooms each morning already overwhelmed by adverse experiences at home, like financial struggles, family arguments or other stressors. Classrooms that prioritize social emotional health through practices like breathing techniques, self-regulation and a focus on safe relationships show improvements in academic achievement.