Helping Teachers Nationwide Strengthen Social and Emotional Skills

Where do major media outlets turn when they want to help teachers? Youth Communication. The New York Times Learning Network recently featured our stories. So did Teaching Tolerance, which reaches 450,000 educators nationwide.

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Educators will use these stories to encourage teens to understand and empathize with others who may be far removed from them by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other differences.

For a lesson on Muslim stereotypes, The New York Times included a YCteen article that features everyday Muslim teens talking about their lives.

Teaching Tolerance added two of our stories to its online anti-bias curriculum. Nhi Tong writes about adjusting as a new immigrant from Vietnam. Melvin Pichardo describes how acting male roles on stage helped him overcome macho family expectations.

The new issue of Teaching Tolerance also includes a feature story about our intensive writing program. Youth Communication’s full-time editors work with a diverse group of teens to help them identify transformative moments in their lives. The teens then write about those moments in ways that spur empathy toward peers and help readers feel less alone in their own struggles. The stories also provide models of how teens can use social and emotional skills, like self-awareness and responsible decision-making, to achieve their goals.

“Kids who might not think they share a sensibility with a Dominican or Chinese or Muslim or transgender boy or girl, find mirrors of themselves in their stories,” says Executive Director Keith Hefner. “That builds bridges of empathy and understanding.”

That sense of understanding opens the door to meaningful discussions and impactful lessons in the classroom.

As Lindberg put it in her article, “Teenage writers in New York City are changing how educators and youth workers do their jobs — and how young readers see the world.”

We’re thrilled that outlets like Teaching Tolerance and The New York Times are helping us get these powerful stories into the hands of more teachers and teens.

Youth Comm Reporter Youth Comm

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