Social Emotional Learning

  • What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? 

    "Social emotional learning 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. (CASEL, 2018)."

    Why is it Important to Teach SEL?

    SEL skills are also life skills. They help our students navigate through their lives and are useful not only in schools settings, but also in social situations outside the classroom. With youth mental health issues on the rise, SEL skills can also help provide a foundation of protective factors for children that can lessen their vulnerability to mental health concerns. In a review of 213 school-based SEL interventions across more than 270,000 students, those who had access to social emotional learning had higher achievement, better behaviors, and improved social and emotional skills (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor & Schellinger, 2011).

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  • Mr. Pennewell's 5th Grade Choose Love Heart  
    Mr. Pennewell's 5th grade class from Junction Avenue K-8 chooses love! 

    How Does LVJUSD Incorporate SEL into student learning?

    Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District has implemented the Jesse Lewis Choose Love™ Program, a social emotional learning curriculum, into our elementary, middle and high schools. Founded by Scarlett Lewis, the program has been developed by educators to provide schools, families, and communities with the tools to promote self-empowerment, resilience, connection, and optimism. Our schools develop our students' SEL aptitudes through age-appropriate curriculum focused on the Choose Love™ themes of courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion in action. Having a cohesive SEL curriculum like Choose Love™ for grades TK-12 allows our students and educators to use a common language to teach and practice these skills throughout a child's education.

  • How Can You Support SEL at Home?

    Parents play an important role in the development of a child's social emotional learning. Here are some Choose Love™ strategies you can try at home to further support your child's understanding of courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion in action:


    • Try using the following discussion starters: To me, courage is…,” “I show courage at school by…,” “I show courage at home by…,” “I show courage in my community by…,” “It takes courage to show my feelings because…”
    • Ask your child how to do a “Brave Breath.”
    • Create a family book of courageous acts that displays pictures of the family being courageous.
    • Tell your child about how you act courageously at work or how you were courageous when you were your child’s age.
    • Tell your child what affirmations (positive self-talk) you use when you need courage.


    • Try using these discussion starters: “To me, gratitude is…,” “I show gratitude at school by…,” “I show gratitude at home by…,” “I show gratitude in my community by…”
    • Ask your child to show you a “Gratitude Breath,” and explain how it can help.
    • Write or draw something you’re grateful for daily. The family can read it together once a week.
    • Model telling someone in your life (brother, sister, mother, father, grandmother, friend, coach, etc.) that you are grateful for them.
    • Model making a gratitude list.


    • Try using these discussion starters: “To me, forgiveness is…,” “I show forgiveness at school by…,” “I show forgiveness at home by…,” “I show forgiveness in my community by…”
    • Model practicing understanding and expressing your own emotions as this helps your child understand the emotions of others and practice forgiveness.
    • Remember forgiveness isn’t about accountability, fairness, or justice. It is about letting go of anger and a choice to surrender retribution.
    • Talk about how to make an authentic apology.

    Compassion in Action

    • Try using these discussion starters: “To me, compassion is…,” “I show compassion at school by…,” “I show compassion at home by…,” “I show compassion in my community by…”
    • Ask your child to model a “compassion breath.”