Aprille McMillan was recently invited to be part of a panel presentation at the Harmony SEL “Power of Engagement Summit” in February to share ESD 112’s experiences implementing the Harmony SEL (Social & Emotional Learning) curriculum.
Harmony SEL is a free, nationally available curriculum that was recently adopted by early learning centers (ELCs) and a few private elementary schools across the ESD 112 region. The intent of the curriculum is to teach children from a young age how to understand and manage personal emotions, how to be empathetic toward others, and how to develop and sustain meaningful and positive peer relationships.
While it is typically a K-6th grade program, Aprille wanted to bring this opportunity into early learning programs to enhance their social and emotional skills before entering the K-12 school system.
“Social emotional learning is a passion of mine,” said Aprille. “The Harmony SEL curriculum focuses on diversity and inclusion, making sure kids recognize differences between people and play. I hoped it would be flexible for early learning to assist teachers in promoting social skills and to reduce bias and bullying,” she explained.
Turns out, it was. Aprille served on the panel at the summit to explain how we have integrated the Harmony SEL curriculum successfully in our early learning community. “It was a great experience to share how it has worked for us,” said Aprille. “I was able to give an overview of the activities, engagement with other programs, and even what it was like during COVID.”
Aprille has been with ESD 112 for seven years and currently serves as an Early Learning Childhood Coordinator. “I am so proud of Aprille and the work that she has done to get this curriculum into the hands of teachers across the early learning field,” said Child Care Aware Manager Michelle Aguilar. “Aprille was instrumental in forming the partnership with Harmony SEL, training our staff and the community of child care providers, and making sure that everyone is supported in implementing the curriculum. It is no wonder she was asked to be on the panel for the national conference. She is passionate about this work and is a leader in innovative ways to support social and emotional learning,” she added.
For more information on Harmony SEL, or to find out how you can use it in your classroom, reach out to Aprille McMillan.