Here's the Healing Work You've Made Possible

At a time when many of us are feeling bombarded by disturbing news, it can help to remember all the people who are working to bring joy and justice to our world. Here at Morningside, I witness such work week after week— and it was made possible by donors like you. 

At a time when many of us are feeling bombarded by disturbing news, it can help to remember all the people who are working to bring joy and justice to our world.a student during a 4Rs lesson

Here at Morningside Center, I witness such work week after week—made possible by donors like you. I want to share a story about this work with you.

This fall, Lisa Goodson, a former Brooklyn principal who now leads an NYC Department of Education program to integrate social and emotional learning (SEL) with academics, reached out to us.

As a principal, she had worked with us to implement our literacy-based SEL program, The 4Rs, into her school. Now, in her new role supporting 600 schools across the city, she wanted to explore another collaboration to bring this powerful program to more schools. She explained:

“I wanted to partner with an organization that was strongly aligned with my core values and our approach to SEL and restorative practices, and I also know that Morningside has a third strand around racial equity. I found out that Morningside has a hand in so much of the work across the city – and has a great reputation and data to support it.”

We soon launched a pilot project involving 12 elementary schools that span the city. Before work began, leaders from these schools came together to learn more about The 4Rs and share their ideas and proposals, helping to shape the program.

About The 4Rs The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution) is Morningside’s preK-5 program. The 4Rs curriculum uses children’s books as a springboard for creating a welcoming classroom community where every child feels they belong – a place where they can practice and build their social, emotional, and academic skills.   Multiple rigorous studies found that The 4Rs not only increases students’ social and emotional well-being, but also improves the classroom climate for learning and leads to better academic outcomes.Teachers from all 12 schools have now completed Morningside’s 5-day training – and coaching at each school is underway!

As Morningside deputy executive director Tala Manassah points out, The 4Rs “challenges the binary between the life of the mind and the life of the heart and spirit. There’s a third way – an SEL that insists that we need opportunities to learn in a way that meets the needs of every child.”

I’m writing to ask you to donate now to sustain this healing work for next year. It was your steady support that enabled us to seize this new opportunity – because our contracts with schools don’t cover the cost of launching new initiatives like this one.

All of us at Morningside Center are so grateful to you for making this possible.

Thank you in advance for your gift this spring. Thank you for planting the seeds that will yield justice and joy this coming fall and winter.

With warm wishes,

Cassie signature
Cassie Schwerner
Executive Director