Tools and Strategies for SEL, Student Engagement and Attendance in Blended and Virtual Environments during COVID-19
WhyTry Organization Team members Bruce Bushnell (former school counselor) and Jason Johnson (school psychologist) demonstrate the SEL tools and methods of the WhyTry Program, the Resilience for Youth Program and the Parent Guide to Resilience. The WhyTry Organization has been leading the way with its innovative approach to teaching SEL and resilience for over 20 years. The WhyTry Program along with Resilience for Youth is used in over 25,000 schools, correctional institutions and mental health organizations across the US, Canada and the UK.
Why Focus on SEL Now?
Massive disruptions to schools brought about by COVID-19 are creating a big need for social-emotional supports for students and educators.
A recent Edweek survey of administrators and teachers found that
“Stress management tied with coping, with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses”
as the top priorities of focus with students going into the fall. Educators are girding for a spike of problems in those areas.
One student services director cited in that survey said,
“The mental health issues have increased. We’re just not able to know by how much. When students come to school, you really have your finger on the pulse of what they’re going through,”
SEL for Adults
Another priority will be the support for teacher’s well being. Attending to the social-emotional needs of educators will be important, particularly since they experience the stress and anxiety of being responsible for the well-being of other people’s children in unprecedented times.
Bruce Bushnell has centered his career around promoting youth success. He is an award winning school counselor. Bruce was named the counselor of the year for the state of Utah and was also honored at the White House, receiving national recognition for his counseling interventions. Bruce has been a member of the Executive High School Relations Board, senior vice president of the Alpine Counseling Association, and vice president of the Utah Counselor Association.
Bruce now helps youth succeed by presenting passionate WhyTry keynotes and trainings across the country. As an advocate of the program from its earliest days, Bruce has also been a key contributor in developing many of the WhyTry learning activities, which are proven to help youth develop the social and emotional skills necessary to reach their goals.
Jason Johnson earned his Ed.S degree in School Psychology and worked in Utah’s public education system as a licensed school psychologist. He has experience working in the elementary, middle and high school environments-and specialized in resilience. His graduate research on adolescent resilience was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Jason is a thought leader on resilience education and has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the country. He has led successful implementations of all WhyTry programs and has pioneered trainings for clients in healthcare, corporate, and the US Military.
Want to Learn More About WhyTry and our SEL Programs?
Our online social and emotional learning curriculum can be taught in virtual classrooms. Help your students develop resilience in this time of crisis and isolation.