Elijah- We couldn’t agree with you more that there needs to be a different solution and approach for all children, and especially for those in high-needs neighborhood and districts, often the “forgotten.” Our heart-centered approach capitalizes on the strengths and potential of each and every child and addressed a myriad of stressors associated with the “historically underprivileged children” who attend school across our great nation every day seeking safety, belonging, shelter and food-- respite from their reality. And, oh yes- they have dreams and hopes just like us and, they so deserve their dreams to be fulfilled like us! With parent involvement as the number one indicator of student success, we certainly need to shift our thinking and actions towards a family/community-centered strategy to ensure all children thrive (as you so wonderfully said) with “emotional intelligence, maturity, and increased confidence and academic achievement.” Thank you for your work and heart!
As a CEI Research Associate and Consultant, I can attest that CEI's 21st-century heart centered approach is one key solution to promising futures, closing the achievement gap, and providing hope for this generation of students. With increasing poverty, trauma and a myriad of stressors attached to such living conditions negatively impacting children's lives and impeding their ability to learn-- a more comprehensive and balanced approach to how we educate is required. It is no longer sufficient to concentrate solely on academics. If we are to change the trajectory of children's lives then we must also address the social-emotional health and well-being of our students. CEI's heart centered approach does just that. And, a defining distinction between CEI's signature heart centered approach and a social-emotional program is that CEI's heart centered approach is a not a program but rather a way of life-- a systematic culture change in the way we educate, behave (interact) and act to change the trajectory of children's lives by educating with both our heart and mind to ensure positive health and well-being for all children.
Perhaps, Dr. Mason could talk more about this defining difference between the isolation of implemented school and classroom-based programs and CEI's heart centered, all-encompassing whole child-centered community education approach that involves all stakeholders, students, parents, educators and community members in collective action to educate each and every child. This is an important distinction since so many teachers are overwhelmed with the thought of "one more program or thing to add to their plate."
I have observed first-hand CEI's heart centered signature approach to educating the whole child. CEI's approach demonstrates our ability as educators, parents, and community to improve the social, emotional, health and well-being of our students when we collectively work to unlock their potential through educating both the heart and minds of our students. Michele