Blog

Home » About Us » Blog
11 June 2018 |

By Caitlin Orbanek, SEL Center Project Coordinator

The Social and Emotional Learning Center at Children's Institute is a true team with a collaborative approach. Our staff works with many others across Children's Institute, we partner with community members and organizations, and we have a talented bench of expert trainers and educators across our area. When you reach out to the SEL Center for collaboration, consultation, resources, or just to chat, you will probably be speaking with one of the three staff members listed here.

07 May 2018 |

By Caitlin Orbanek, SEL Center Project Coordinator

As we were exploring the idea of defining success as this month’s SEL Center theme, I kept thinking back to the year after I finished my graduate degree, and how strange it felt at that time to believe that I was suddenly a “successful adult.” My friends and I had multiple different conversations about it – how did we know we were doing all right? How did we know we were on the right track? At that time, at age 24, I had been a student for 19 years of my life. How did I know I was doing well enough when I wasn’t receiving a letter grade on the different areas of my life every three months?

25 April 2018 |

When Harrah Elementary staff first heard about Primary Project, they instantly knew it was a support service they wanted to offer students experiencing mild school adjustment difficulties. Harrah Elementary is unique among primary schools in Washington State. Housed on the Yakama Indian Nation, Harrah Elementary serves 563 students in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, 52% of whom are Native American, 38% Hispanic or Latino, and 5% White. Over 90% of the school population is low-income and 71 students are identified as homeless. Harrah Elementary students are exposed to a number of risk factors associated with the development of mental health issues, including high rates of academic failure, a reduced commitment to school, and repeated exposure to traumatic events in the community. This school year alone, two Harrah Elementary parents died in car accidents, and four community youth died in car accidents, hit-and-runs, or due to other traumatic circumstances. The stressful circumstances in which many Harrah Elementary students live are often expressed in the classroom, as students struggle to adjust to school and develop the confidence and social skills needed to focus on learning.

16 April 2018 |

I love being a trainer. I train teachers and administrators in high quality practices for early childhood classrooms based on highly researched assessment tools. Observing and using assessment tools in classrooms is an honor, but to have teachers take extra time out of their day to come to training, in pursuit of enhancing the quality of education in their classroom, is a thrill.

Within Children’s Institute I have the opportunity to train both new and experienced teachers as well as administrators. I train locally and throughout New York State. There is a common thread. Everyone I meet who works to educate young children cares about what they do. They honestly believe that their role is important, and I consider it my job to support them in that effort.

Pages