What We Do
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility’s evidence-validated programs help all members of a school community (students, school staff, and parents) develop essential life skills and create a more positive and productive learning environment.
Schools and districts contract with Morningside Center to implement a wide array of programs aimed at fostering students’ social, emotional, and academic learning and at creating a respectful classroom and school climate. Our approach is engaging and interactive, employing small groups, skills practice, role-playing, brainstorming and discussion. We tailor our work to address the needs of each school or group so costs vary.
Our approaches include:
Classroom Instruction Programs
Regular classroom lessons or sessions are the foundation for fostering students' social and emotional learning (SEL). We provide professional development to support teachers in consistently teaching our SEL curricula. Our classroom instruction programs include:
- The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution) for preK-8. The 4Rs develops the academic, social & emotional skills of students from pre-K through middle school by integrating SEL into the language arts curriculum. The 4Rs uses children's literature as a springboard for developing their social, emotional and academic skills.
- Restore360 for grades 3-12. The Restore360 Program uses restorative approaches to create a sense of community among students, build their social and emotional skills, and provide a positive alternative to punitive discipline policies that can lead to suspension.
- Resolving Conflict Creatively (RCCP) develops the academic, social & emotional skills of students grades K-12 through an engaging, interactive curriculum.
Advisories Program. We help schools develop and implement effective advisory programs that help connect young people to the school and build their SEL competencies.
- Smart School Leaders. We provide tailored support for principals in leading with emotional intelligence and in engaging all members of the school community in planning for and implementing schoolwide social and emotional learning (SEL).
- Rethinking Discipline. We work flexibly with school leaders to help them align their school’s approach to discipline with social and emotional learning and restorative practices, creating a school environment that is safe, calm, and caring. This can include collaborative planning and consultation to develop a new discipline plan, more targeted support to address discipline issues, as well as workshops and classroom coaching for teachers.
- Pathways to Respect is our research-based program for eliminating bullying in middle schools. It addresses the problem on three levels: school-wide, classroom, and individual. The curriculum component of Pathways to Respect is 4Rs for Middle School.
- Whole School SEL. We provide coaching for school leaders and help them facilitate a collaborative planning process to engage the school community in developing plans for school-wide social and emotional learning. We support the school in implementing these approaches, including a discipline policy that is aligned with SEL, classroom instruction for students, and professional development for teachers.
Student Leadership Programs
We provide school-based training and support for students (K -12) in becoming leaders in their schools and communities. We also provide technical assistance to help schools set up effective student leadership programs. Our programs include:
- Peer Mediation. Selected young people, grades 3-12, (usually 25-30 students per school) learn basic SEL skills and master a step-by-step mediation process. They then serve their schools by mediating disputes among their peers.
- Peace Helpers. Students from grades K-2 work with their teachers to establish classroom Peace Corners and help their classmates address problems and conflicts.
- Diversity Panels. Panels made up of students representing various forms of diversity make classroom presentations to trigger discussion of how the school can ensure respect for all.
PAZ (Peace from A to Z) After-School Program @ P.S. 24 serves 240 children in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with a program of conflict resolution instruction, cooperative sports, arts, community service, and homework help. PAZ @ P.S. 24 operates from 3-6 every school day afternoon and all day during 20 school holidays and the summer.
PAZ @ P.S. 214 serves over 700 students (grades K-8) in the Bronx with a rich program of academic enrichment, social and emotional learning, arts and other projects.
Our staff developers provide engaging, interactive stand-alone workshops for school staff, including teachers, guidance counselors, and school aides. Each year, we faciliate two-day Respect for All workshops to help them counter bullying, especially of lesbian and gay young people. These awareness and skill-building workshops are a collaboration with the NYC Department of Education.
- Our Peace in the Family workshops help parents develop skills in communication and problem-solving so they can build strong, collaborative relationships with their children, and connect with the school and each other.
Collaboration with Researchers
Morningside Center collaborates with researchers to evaluate the impact of our programs and contribute knowledge to the field. Current research collaborations include The 4Rs Research Project and 4Rs-My Teaching Partner, a project with the University of Virginia to develop an intensive model of staff development for the 4Rs.
The teacher resource section of our website, TeachableMoment, offers educators timely, inquiry-oriented classroom lessons on current issues and social and emotional learning. Hundreds of thousands of educators download our lessons each year.
Morningside Center works flexibly to meet the needs of schools. For more information, please contact us.
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TeachableMoment Recent Classroom Lessons
- Presidential Conflicts of Interest February 20, 2017
- DeVos and a Controversy over Public Education February 20, 2017
- Black History Month & the Danger of a Single Story February 13, 2017
Social & Emotional Learning
- Immigration: Where are we from? January 29, 2017
- Building Community, Post-Election: The Power of Kindness November 18, 2016
- Building Community, Post-Election: Sharing our Values November 18, 2016