Sunday, February 5, 2023


Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.


The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

More Than Academics: WA Schools Help Kids Develop Life Skills


Monday, February 12, 2018   

SEATTLE — While people often think of school as a place to learn reading and math, schools also have another important function.

Washington state school districts are recognizing the vital role of social-emotional learning - that is, supporting children's ability to build relationships, understand their emotions, and solve problems. Heather Wallace, a health program specialist with the Spokane Regional Health District, said this type of learning is the key building block to academic education.

"Math and English and writing are all really critical academic skills for kids to develop in elementary school,” Wallace said. “But probably more important is that social-emotional development - because without it, kids can't rise to the next level."

Wallace works with the program Neighborhoods Matter, which supports marginalized community members in Spokane. To promote social skills, they host what they call "play and learns," to help kids and parents connect with each other.

Wallace said increasing social-emotional development also protects kids against child abuse and neglect.

David Lewis, program manager of the Seattle School District's behavioral health services, works directly with kids on these skills. Lewis said children rely on a caring, trusting adult.

One of the first kids he worked with on social-emotional development had an incarcerated father and was getting into trouble at school. So Lewis took steps to connect with him, one-on-one. Once he saw the boy was responding, he began adding expectations for him.

Within a year, Lewis said, the child had grown immensely.

"What we learned in that was, it is about relationship, it is about high expectations, and it's also about supporting students so they can meet those expectations and build their esteem,” Lewis said; “so that when you're not there, they can keep moving forward and pushing."

Sarah Butcher, executive vice chair with the Washington State Special Education Advisory Council, said there are no state standards for social-emotional learning yet. But districts are laying the foundation for this work, which could lead to training and implementation statewide.

"The magic is going to happen when districts and neighbors see what each other is doing and learn from each other, and that creates connections,” Butcher said. “This is a journey. It's not something that will, overnight, shift and change. It will be a process, but an exciting one to watch unfold."

get more stories like this via email

A researcher examines Kernza grains. (The Land Institute)


By Jake Christie for Great Lakes Echo. Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection, reporting for Great Lakes Echo/Solutions …

Social Issues

By Gabes Torres for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Maine News Service, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Tribal leaders from the eight federally recognized tribes in Utah gathered at a news conference at the state Capitol this week and called on state law…

In 2022, Ohio had 1,580,547 students enrolled in a total of 3,136 public schools across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Education. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Ohio's teachers are applauding the governor's recently announced plan to overhaul the state's reading curriculum for elementary schoolers and boost re…


As the economy has changed with the pandemic in the past few years, Indiana's small communities have seen an exodus of jobs and people. However…

The Biochar Research Network Act would have set up as many as 20 biochar research facilities across the country. (K.salo.85/Wikimedia Commons)


By Lisa Held for Civil Eats. Broadcast version by Eric Tegethoff for Big Sky Connection, reporting for Civil Eats/Solutions Journalism/Public News …

Health and Wellness

February is National Heart Month, and doctors want Virginians to understand heart health a bit better - specifically, heart attacks and cardiac …

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021