Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have been shown to increase pro-social behaviors as well as improve academic performance. SEL brings together a host of life skills which promote a critical understanding of healthy relationships, self-awareness, and responsible decision making. Teacher surveys of active SEL curriculums in various cities nationwide show a reduction in bullying and negative student behavior. Additionally, academic performance and student interest in learning improved in schools with SEL curriculums in place.
San Antonio area schools reported nearly 800 bullying and harassment claims in 2015, and research indicates that relationship patterns are developed early in life and remain consistent through development. However, most school programs that educate students about healthy relationships are not initiated until adolescence. Teacher surveys show that educators desire more resources and training in the area of SEL. Further, SEL programs have been shown to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for students who receive them. Project Brave’s aim is twofold: 1) provide access to SEL principles beginning in elementary school, through community based training and resources, to San Antonio area practitioners, counselors, and educators and 2) increase community and parental awareness about the importance of healthy relationship skills. Through these two avenues, Project Brave aims to change the conversation around healthy relationships – initiating such conversations earlier and providing quality tools and resources to cultivate a community of respect, empathy, and compassion.
Our organization’s mission is to provide area schools with libraries which promote and teach SEL principles and core values. We also provide guest speakers for families, teachers, and administrators in order to provide opportunities for education and conversation about issues related to healthy relationships.