YC on Ethical Schools Podcast: How teen stories boost SEL

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In case you missed it, we encourage you to listen to Youth Communication Executive Director, Betsy Cohen and Senior Advisor Keith Hefner’s recent talk on the Ethical Schools Podcast.  

Betsy and Keith share how YC’s unique literacy-rich and social and emotional learning (SEL) writing program creates a transformative experience for writers, helps readers develop empathy and gain strength, and educators acquire a better understanding of challenges teens face.  

Highlights from the podcast:


•    Betsy notes that a teen writer’s first goal in telling a story is to inspire other youth. Throughout the writing process, teens discover and share their own strengths.  As teachers become much more aware of students’ strengths, it spurs “transformative conversation and community building.”

•    Keith shares that stories are like case studies” for educators.  Stories reveal what is “beneath the iceberg”…the person behind the behavior, and show their strengths and full humanity.

•    Their conversation underscored the importance of centering the perspectives of our most vulnerable youth, to create safer and more supportive environments for all students.  Understanding their stories changes the relationships between teachers and students, teachers and teachers, and among students.  This changes the climate of the entire school community.

There’s a whole lot more in the full podcast. Listen to learn how Youth Communication’s programs help educators build the social and emotional skills and connections that keep students motivated and engaged.  
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