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CITRS Presented at the National Afterschool Association 2015 Conference

Washington, D.C. CITRS team members, Jeanne Craft and Brendan Petersen partnered with Jessica Bailey, Senior Director of Education and DJ Rouzeau, Director of After School Programming at New York Junior Tennis and Learning, to facilitate their innovative and dynamic character learning session at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington, D.C. March 10, 2015.

Best practices, a virtues matrix with a bi-lingual application, a logic model for effective organizational partnering, and strategies for reaching young people were shared with administrators and professionals from around the country. Participants were engaged in an experiential ‘on-court’ simulation of character learning. This highly interactive and ‘hands-on’ activity stimulated interesting and valuable dialogue among attendees.

In addition, Craft and Petersen participated in a special session with other invited diverse leadership members to explore the crucial intersection of social and emotional learning and afterschool. They introduced to conference organizers and attendees the concept of Comprehensive Character Education; specifically highlighting that Social Emotional Learning integrated with Character Education is key to transforming programs into powerful learning initiatives. Successful infusion of Social Emotional within Character Development (SECD) results in positive behaviors, increased academic success and caring communities.

Afterschool programs often enjoy strong competitive advantages in helping youth build these important life competencies and habits. Without the mandates of standardized testing and curriculum restrictions placed on schools, afterschool programs are free to explore SECD topics in more depth. In fact, many education experts argue that afterschool programs are the ideal forum for SECD learning, as they can focus on the relational sides of helping young people develop, whether in the context of sports, arts, and other enrichment activities. SECD is anchored in relationships that build healthy attachment, integrity, trust, and interpersonal skills.

For more information please contact Brendan Petersen, or 610-995-1090.

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