Most social workers and school psychologists would agree that it is often difficult to get unmotivated and avoidant learners—or Tier II and Tier III students—engaged in SEL groups. Because this is true, Tier I Education trains educators and other
why culture is critical to engaging students of color in the classroom, and why valuing your students’ cultures is foundational to establishing solid relationships
After School Programs
The concept of RTI is that students who struggle do not necessarily need supports that are drastically different from their same age peers who do not struggle. Rather, they need more time to learn content in smaller groups. One problem is that there is not always enough time in the school day to give all students the support they need to improve academically and/or socioemotionally. Because this is true, after school programs are critical to providing additional supports for schools and should be embedded in RTI implementation. After school programs should be considered an additional support or intervention for students who require them. After school programs should also be considered as prevention for students who are performing well academically and social-emotionally. At Tier 1, we provide training on how to make after school programs, including mentoring and writing programs, culturally responsive. Two programs that have been effective with increasing engagement among students are Hip Hop Social Emotional Learning (SEL) after school programs and Writing with Hip Hop. These programs are tailored to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and IDEA-2004 (appropriate instruction). Writing with Hip Hop Writing with Hip Hop is an after school program that uses music, lyrics, and poetry to connect students to the writing process and to improve grammar. Writing with Hip Hop is tailored to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and incorporates speaking and ELA standards. Speaking standards are used to emphasize the need for students of color to learn how to code switch—to acquire the skills to adapt their language (including Black Vernacular English) to context and setting. Writing with Hip Hop is a process of using music and lyrics to learn to construct grammatically correct sentences. This process also improves students’ writing and speaking skills. We train educators and other direct service providers on how to peak the writing interests of students by incorporating communalism, movement expressiveness, storytelling, and verve—essential components of Writing with Hip Hop. Hip Hop Social Emotional Learning (SEL) After School Programs Hip Hop SEL after school programs provide opportunities for students to engage their musical talents while learning the following 5 social emotional competencies: (1) self- awareness, (2) social awareness, (3) self-management, (4) responsible decision making, and (5) relationship building. These competencies reflect standards and have been shown to increase social-emotional functioning, academic engagement in the classroom, and high school completion (CASEL). Tier 1 also provides consultants who are trained to run hip hop social-emotional SEL groups during the day as well, based on the gifts, talents, and abilities of students. If you are interested in bringing in interventionists to start up your after school programs or Tier 2 and Tier 3 SEL groups during the day–interventionists who are trained in culturally relevant interventions–contact us today! Engage.Connect.Inspire.