The Grand Haven Schools Foundation (GHSF) has committed to assisting Grand Haven Area Public Schools (GHAPS) with the acquisition of a social emotional curriculum program for preschool school through fourth grade. The curriculum is named Second STEP utilizing the following acronym: S=Say the problem without blame; T=Think of solutions; E=Explore the consequences; and P=Pick the best solution.
Second Step is an acclaimed curriculum focused on the correlation between social emotional skills and improved behaviors, higher academic performance, and overall health. GHAPS performed a pilot test of the program during the 2016-17 school year; however, a full implementation was delayed due to the cost.
For several years, GHSF has exclusively focused on the funding of preschool scholarships for at-risk three-and-four-year-olds in the GHAPS system. Since adopting preschool scholarships as their strategic focus, GHSF has gone from funding seven scholarships in 2004 to providing 67 students with scholarships during the 2016-17 school year.
“Preschool scholarships will always be the strategic focus and priority of GHSF, explains Katie Appold, Executive Director, “but when we have capacity and our school system has a compelling need, we’re going to do what we can to help. We appreciated the due diligence the GHAPS team performed on this curriculum and we recognized its value for the critical early education years. We’re very pleased to support this project, and trust our donors will support it as well.”
GHSF has committed to supporting the curriculum acquisition with a $20,000 grant. The curriculum will be implemented in every preschool through fourth grade classroom at the five campuses of GHAPS during the 2017-18 school year.
“The social and emotional wellbeing of our children is critical not only in ensuring they are ready to learn, but to lead long, healthy, productive lives,” explained Andrew Ingall, GHAPS Superintendent. “Recently, the Center for Disease Control listed suicide as one of the top causes of death among the 15-24 age group. The Grand Haven Area Public Schools are making a concerted effort to address this in a proactive manner beginning with our youngest students.”
The Grand Haven Schools Foundation supports early education initiatives in the Grand Haven Area Public School system through grants funded by community donations and support. If you would like to support the work of GHSF, please visit www.ghsf.org or mail your gift to GHSF, PO Box 272, Grand Haven, MI 49417.