Educators receive training in social-emotional learning curriculum

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin—Local educators today are getting educated themselves. They’re among more than 160 other educators, together representing 17 schools from throughout the region, participating in Character Strong Curriculum Training sponsored by Character Lives. The training teaches educators how to bring Character Lives’ social-emotional learning curriculum into their classrooms.

Character Lives was introduced to area schools last fall when a group of business leaders sought to address a deficit in soft-skills education and to prepare students to become servant leaders. The curriculum can be easily integrated into existing classes or offered as a separate class.

Numerous studies demonstrate that curricula like Character Lives

  • boost academic performance
  • lower stress and help prevent mental illness
  • prevent negative behavior (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying)
  • equip students with soft skills, including communication needed for workplace success
  • promote self-management

John Norlin, co-creator of Character Strong, the curriculum on which Character Lives is based, is leading the training. Norlin is nationally recognized for his work to instill character development and teach servant leadership concepts in schools. Today’s training introduces a model to become the bedrock for educators in western Wisconsin, along with instructional techniques in how to build a sustaining program that will change the climate of the school and students’ lives from the inside out.

A program of Coulee Region Whole Child, Character Lives is a character development curriculum that teaches the social and emotional skills students need in order to become successful—at school, at work and in the community. By reducing stress and negative behaviors, Character Lives reduces the costs that result when people are not equipped for success—including costs such as public assistance and incarceration. Coulee Region Whole Child was founded in 2017 and is awaiting approval of status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization