Social-Emotional Learning and our "One of a KIND" Contest

By
Anna Starecheski

As we've been telling you excitedly, we're placing a bigger focus on social-emotional learning this year in Storyworks Jr. Part of this is the launch of our signature contest, One of a KIND. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we cannot wait to read your students' entries! But first, let me back up a bit.

Our October/November Paired Text is about Kevin, a boy with autism, who finds relief in equine therapy. Kevin explains how autism affects his life, and how riding horses has helped him. We've paired this short text with an interview with Grace Dupont, whose younger brother has autism. She shares what she wants people to know about Carl in her touching answers to our questions. My favorite point she makes is that people shouldn't feel bad for Carl. "He has a very happy and interesting life," she says. I think it's so important to focus on the joys of the lives of those who are different from us, not just the challenges. These paired texts lead into our new One of a KIND contest.

We want to hear about what makes your students amazing. Whether that's a story about a time when they had a hard time fitting in, a time they were a great friend, or just what makes them one of a kind. (See what I did there?)

Entering writing contests is a great authentic creative writing activity for your students, plus it builds confidence and writing skills! We hope you'll encourage your students to enter--we can't wait to hear what they have to say!

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