2020 grant applications are now closed.
Social Emotional Learning Fund (S.E.L.F.) Grant Program
The Springfield Education Foundation is proud to offer funding for educators that wish to implement sustainable Social Emotional Learning opportunities for students attending Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, Oregon.
Grants of up to $1,000 are available.
The Springfield Education Foundation Fund for Social-Emotional Learning (SEF/SEL) was established by a gift from Stan and Cathy Paine, both long-time administrators in the Springfield School District. Stan served as principal of three Springfield Schools (Maple, Centennial & Ridgeview) for a total of 13 years. Cathy served as a school psychologist and as special education coordinator for a total of 30 years of service in the Springfield School District.
The focus of this fund was chosen because it represents Stan & Cathy’s common interest and passion in children’s positive social development, physical safety and emotional well-being in school settings. Social and emotional learning (SEL) “is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
What is SEL?
Social and emotional learning involves the processes of developing social and emotional competencies in children. SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful; social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, citizen, and worker; and many different risky behaviors (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying, and dropout) can be prevented or reduced when multi-year, integrated efforts develop students’ social and emotional skills. This is best done through effective classroom instruction, student engagement in positive activities in and out of the classroom, and broad parent and community involvement in program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Effective SEL programming begins in preschool and continues through high school. CASEL has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies:
Self-awareness is the ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
Self-management is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward personal and academic goals.
Social awareness is the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
Relationship skills is the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
Responsible decision making
Responsible decision making is the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
Social-Emotional Learning (curriculum materials, training & implementation support)
Funds may be used to purchase SEL materials and provide training for the long-term and high-level implementation of empirically-validated social-emotional learning curricula. Some examples are described in the CASEL Guide, http://www.casel.org/guide/ though potential programs are not limited to these.
Character education programs
Funds may be used to establish and sustain implementation of a school-wide character development initiative in which the traits of good character and positive social values are taught and reinforced to create a strong, character-based school culture. The 20-year-old character education program at Centennial Elementary School provides an example of what such a program might look like.
Peace education initiatives
Funds may be used to establish and sustain implementation of a school-wide peace education program in which peaceful problem-solving and dispute resolution are actively taught and carried out in all settings within the school. The 20-year-old peace initiative at Centennial Elementary School provides a prototype for such an initiative. It includes a student-written and student-led Peace Pledge, a “peace place” and “peace process” for problem-solving and many peace-themed visual reminders throughout the school.
Asset, strength or interest development programs
Child/youth development research consistently supports the positive effects of actively cultivating young people’s personal strengths and intentionally developing their academic and pre-vocational interests. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement programs such as the development assets, developmental relationships, developmental communities, REACH and SPARKS programs created by the Search Institute. Such programs actively develop young people’s skills, values, motivation, decision-making abilities, positive relationships, interests and adult support. (See search-institute.org for details about these programs.)
Bullying and harassment are significant barriers to students’ feelings of safety and well-being at school and at school-related activities. They can adversely affect student attendance, achievement and graduation rates. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement an anti-bullying/anti-harassment curriculum and implementation campaign. Such programs should be consistent with current best practice in this field.
School mentoring programs
Many children and youth have life experiences that negatively affect their social development and readiness for success. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement, enhance or refine a school-based mentoring program for children or youth whose circumstances negatively affect their social and/or academic development. Such programs should be consistent with current best practice in the field of mentoring and positive youth development.
Leadership development programs
Many students, even some with very good potential for success, underachieve in school, and eventually in life, due to a lack of believe in their own abilities, a lack of motivation, under-developed skills or a lack of sufficient personalized opportunity or support. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement a comprehensive, systematic and on-going program of leadership development at any school level that is designed to help students discover their leadership potential and to put that potential into practice to develop leadership experience.
- Activities not falling within one of the categories listed above
- Stand-alone, one-time events (assemblies, speakers, field trips, “fairs”, “(focus) nights”, (e.g. “SEL night”, etc.) However, such activities could possibly be part of a larger program of activities for one of the above categories, providing that these activities lead to the implementation of on-going structure or support of activities that promote strong socio-emotional learning.
- One-time trainings without implementation follow-up support and without the expectation of ongoing use of the trained skills by all school staff.
- All projects must receive preapproval by a supervisor or principal.
- Only one proposal per educator will be considered.
- Proposals are due May 15 by 5:00 pm. Late submissions will not be considered.
- Awarded funds may only be applied to the project described in the proposal.
- Funds must be spent within the 2020-21 academic year.
- Grants are awarded once per year. The quantity and amount will depend on available funds.
- When creating your budget, please research costs and cite estimate sources.
- DO NOT IDENTIFY participating SPS staff, SPS schools, or partnering organizations in your Narrative or Budget. Applications with names will be INELIGIBLE for funding.
Click here to DOWNLOAD THE SELF Grant Application Packet 2020-21
- Grants are scored by SEF and SPS representatives and community volunteers who may be familiar with you and your school. In an effort to reduce bias, please do not identify yourself, your school or project partners by name. Your proposal will receive an identifying number referenced throughout review. Applications that include specific employee or school names will not be considered.
- Each application will receive a cumulative numerical score and those with highest scores will receive funding priority.
Responsibilities of Grant Recipients
- Submit a video of students participating in or talking about your SEF-funded project.
- Agree to share project information at an SEF event or meeting.
- Return the required project evaluation by June 30.
- Equipment purchased with SEF grant funds is considered the property of Springfield Public Schools. Please notify SEF if you plan to move and take your equipment to another building.
- Projects and evaluations must be completed before applicants can apply for a future grant.