Discovery Education Partnerships: Getting Students Ready to Learn
Studies tell us that students perform better at school when they are physically and emotionally healthy. They miss fewer classes, are able to concentrate better on their schoolwork, are less likely to engage in antisocial or risky behavior and earn higher marks.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. It makes sense that teens and young children alike cannot thrive academically unless their physical, social and emotional needs are being met. Unfortunately, too many students go to school feeling depressed, or stressed out, or even afraid for their safety. They may be bullied, for instance – or they might be experiencing anxiety or isolation.
This is why it’s so important for school systems to focus on the “whole child” in their approach to instruction. Students need social and emotional support while at school, and they need a safe and healthy environment in which to learn. Only then will they be prepared to focus on academics.
Making a Difference
At Discovery Education, we have partnered with a number of youth service organizations to develop resources that can help educators and communities address the social and emotional needs of students.
- IWitness Video Challenge, created in partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation, aims to counter hatred in all forms, such as racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance. In this video contest, students listen to the testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide. Then, they complete research-based, standards-aligned activities, capped off by a community action project. Students must document their work in the form of a video essay sharing their message of tolerance with the world. The top entries will receive grants and scholarships totaling $10,000, courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
- Discover Your Happy, developed in conjunction with LG, provides research-based tools to show students how happiness can be achieved through learnable skills and practices. Free tools include a virtual field trip, featuring experts who guide students through science behind happiness and a classroom-based curriculum with hands-on activities for students. The program furthers the conversation with activities for families to have conversations about happiness at home.
- Take a Stand For Healthy Relationships, built in partnership with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), teaches students how to understand and build healthy relationships. Standards-aligned curriculum encourages important skills in communication and self-awareness. Students explore how to effectively and safely advocate for themselves, and accompanying educator guides provide school staff with strategies to support students with this critical content.
- Start with Hello and Say Something are no-cost programs developed by Sandy Hook Promise to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within schools. Many perpetrators of violence suffer from social isolation, or the feeling of being left out and treated like they were invisible.
Successful corporate partnerships are win-wins. They benefit all parties involved and serve to advance the mission of each. Our partnerships with youth service organizations to support students’ social and emotional needs certainly meet this definition.
In each of these partnerships, we have applied our expertise as a leading developer of research-based, standards-aligned digital learning content to the creation of programs and materials that support students’ social and emotional well-being. These materials help youth service organizations fulfill their mission by reducing instances of violence or intolerance, while also increasing student health and safety.
And that advances our own mission as well, which is improving K-12 education. When students are physically and emotionally healthy, they are well-prepared to learn. By addressing students’ social and emotional needs, we are creating conditions in which learning can prosper, and students can be successful.