WhyTry News

Here you will find inspiring, informative, and sometimes funny posts from the folks here at the WhyTry headquarters and beyond. You will also be able to view upcoming speaking events, join our newsletter, and keep up-to-date on all the latest WhyTry news.

We are former teachers, counselors, and social workers working to bring resilience skills to students around the world. 

An Online Resource, NOT An Online Social Emotional Learning Program

An Online Resource, NOT An Online Social Emotional Learning Program
First, we want to say that EVERY social emotional learning effort made by schools and communities is important. Research has shown that students who have vital resilience skills perform better in school and are more capable of achieving their goals. However, we also believe the best chance students have to succeed is with a strong support system en...
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Parent Guide & More: 5 WhyTry Ventures You Don’t Want to Miss in 2017

Parent Guide & More: 5 WhyTry Ventures You Don’t Want to Miss in 2017
2017 is OUR year, and we want you to be a part of it! While we have already established ourselves as the World Leader in Academic Resilience, we truly believe resilience is for everyone - which means we have a lot of work to do.  Now is the time to get involved in these five amazing WhyTry ventures:   1.     Resilience...
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December 2016 Resilience in Action Award - Dr. Laura Owen

December 2016 Resilience in Action Award - Dr. Laura Owen
Dr. Laura Owen, a research professor at American University, focuses on evaluating the impact of interventions and initiatives designed to address the persistent equity and access issues that so many students across the country face. Dr. Owen is the co-leader of the SDSU White House Convening, a partnership of the White House’s College Opportunity ...
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January 2017 Resilience in Action Award - Kimberly Boyd

January 2017 Resilience in Action Award - Kimberly Boyd
“What are we going to do with you – throw you in the trash can? Are you ever going to amount to anything?” While many others facing these questions would shut down, young Kimberly Boyd made a choice. I know for a fact I’m going to become something.  She absolutely has. As owner and clinical director for one of Houston’s largest private practic...
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Christian Moore Attends the 5th National White House Convening at American University

Christian Moore Attends the 5th National White House Convening at American University
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of presenting at the 5th National White House Convening at American University in Washington, D.C.  In two whirlwind days, my colleagues and I heard from experts like Secretary of Education John King, Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen, Bill Mendoza, Executive Director of the White House ...
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November 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Callan Clark

November 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Callan Clark
It was nearly 20 years ago that Colorado Native Callan Clark became a school psychologist and began to fall in love with the idea of social-emotional education – focusing on the whole child and working to meet the needs of every student – not just those who were struggling on the surface. It’s this same attentiveness to student success that has led...

October 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Richard K. Thompson

October 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Richard K. Thompson
"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." This quote from Invictus by William Ernest Henley covers the walls, papers, and virtual classrooms of the Swartz Creek Academy, a non-traditional education platform where students come to personify the phrase. "It is our ethos, if you will," says October 2016 Resilience in Action ...
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More Than An Educator - An Important Reminder from Students In Need

More Than An Educator - An Important Reminder from Students In Need
As the new school year begins, we as educators feel a driving need to engage our students by almost any means necessary. We feel pressure to find new activities, establish a working relationship, meet common assessment requirements, continue our PD - the list goes on and on. By Christmas, this enthusiasm has likely faded, leaving behind educators t...
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September 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Akin Akinniyi

September 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Akin Akinniyi
While Akin Akinniyi, better known as "Mr. A" at Villa de Paz Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ, describes his experiences growing up as "blessed," it is clear he understands and the hardships faced by students in his community. "My mission, in partnership with school educators, families, and community members, is to support students by providing a c...
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3 Creative Tips for Getting Students Excited Before the School Year Begins

3 Creative Tips for Getting Students Excited Before the School Year Begins
While you may be dreading the return of school this fall, chances are your students haven't even thought about it. This makes for a great opportunity for you! Are you ready to get them - and yourself - excited about the upcoming school year? These 3 creative tips will help you raise the energy level in your future students from the comfort of ...

July 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Lourdes Baker

July 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Lourdes Baker
"Coming from a family of twelve siblings, life has been anything but easy. But the will to survive, excel, and succeed in life has been a self-instilled discipline that has taught her the biggest lesson: Resilience. This was what she would need to survive. This was and is the key to her success. Imagine moving from the comfort of familiarity, Mexi...
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Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers - and the Defense Mechanisms We Use

Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers - and the Defense Mechanisms We Use
Working with youth isn't always easy. As children begin to test their boundaries, challenging our authority and expanding their understanding of themselves, they can absolutely push us to our limits. This can lead to stress, anger, depression, and disengagement in educators. By letting our emotions get to us and reacting negativ...

June 2016 Resilience in Action Award: John Robertson

June 2016 Resilience in Action Award: John Robertson
"Resilience means making a delicious meal with whatever you have in the fridge." “[Resilience] means finding a way - no matter what you lack – to accomplish your goals. Resilience means making a delicious meal with whatever you have in the fridge,” responds WhyTry’s June 2016 Resilience in Action Award recipient, John Robertson, when asked what res...

Ending it Practically: Child Hunger in America

Ending it Practically: Child Hunger in America
The United Way of Dallas is currently running a campaign called Silence The Hunger, a movement to encourage Texas residents to help hungry children in the area. As summer approaches, many other charities across the U.S. have also begun strongly championing the message of "feeding America's youth."   It is well known that roughly "15....

May 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Tom McCollum

May 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Tom McCollum
“The WhyTry Program became their security blanket.”   Near Oxnard, California, resides an educator who has helped thousands of students achieve academic and life-long success. Though recently retired, Tom McCollum continues to be a strong advocate and resource for students.  McCollum believes “every student should see him or herself ...
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Bringing Nature to the Classroom

Bringing Nature to the Classroom
Spring is in full force, and your students are getting restless. They are tired of the white walls and hard desks - they need a new stimulus. One of the best ways to re-engage students and get them excited is to bring nature to the classroom. By incorporating nature with each of the five senses, you breathe new life into a stale, end-of-the-sc...
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April 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Daniel Vazquez

April 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Daniel Vazquez
With a median household income of just over $28,000, Dade City, FL, students struggle with unique economic and social/emotional challenges. To help facilitate learning in this environment, Daniel Vazquez, a counselor and member of the Student Support Team, provides basic needs for Lacoochee Elementary School students. From clothing and transportati...
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Preparing to Implement an SEL Program? 4 Strategies to Consider

Preparing to Implement an SEL Program? 4 Strategies to Consider
It takes months of planning to fully implement an SEL program at a school or district.  This is commonly due to funding hurdles, confusion on integration strategies, and a need to identify students and teachers who will participate in the program. Sometimes, there is resistance from staff members who feel burdened by the upcomin...

Guest Blogger: Nancy Montoya Spices Up Elementary Lessons by Turning WhyTry Into An Online Game

Guest Blogger: Nancy Montoya Spices Up Elementary Lessons by Turning WhyTry Into An Online Game
"When the principal at our Title I school asked me to look into a program that dealt with student resilience, I was lucky to find ‘Why Try," a curriculum for 4th and 5th grade students.  I have been co-teaching this program for the past two years with my colleague. Our student body faces significant poverty and struggles with the beh...

February 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Jennifer Davis

February 2016 Resilience in Action Award: Jennifer Davis
  For a child, watching a parent go to prison can create a sense of isolation and trauma that doesn’t go away without help. So, with these children in mind, help is just what the New Hope Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma is offering. New Hope got started when members of the Episcopal Church learned, while visiting a local prison, that the greatest co...

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