This week, HealthyCHILD attended "Develop an Understanding of SEL: What it is and What it is not," sponsored by Project SEEKS and the Training and Consultation Teams at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. The University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development's own Dr. Shannon Wanless gave the keynote talk, engaging the group in conversation about what SEL means to us. Dr. Wanless is the director of the Office of Child Development, where HealthyCHILD is housed.
From psychological safety and trauma, to self-regulation and nurturing relationships - SEL can have many definitions. With many Superintendents, Directors of Special Education/Pupil Services, and Principals across Allegheny County in the room, it brought us hope for a socially- and emotionally-well future.
What is "Project SEEKS," you might be asking yourself - Project SEEKS stands for Supporting Expansion and Enhancement of K-12 School-Based Social, Emotional Supports (SEEKS SES). This project is a wide-ranging initiative that strives to support districts across Allegheny County in addressing and bolstering SEL in our schools. Project SEEKS SES is funded through the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and managed by the AIU. The project will support 10 districts in the county in addressing trauma, behavior and mental health issues that have been exacerbated in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.