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Remember, School Is More Than Grades

It often looks like a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

School curricula typically favor teaching kids 'applied knowledge.' This is the type of knowledge that can easily be tested and graded. But this tunnel approach often backfires later when graduates enter the workforce. According to the recruiting firm THE PRINCIPLE GROUP, such 'soft skills' as effective problem solving, time management and collaboration - skills that are given less of a priority in their curricula - are among the top eight skills that hiring managers value in 2022.

Teachable Skills

The non-academic ingredients for success are all teachable life skills that Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum provides. otherwise known as EQ or Emotional Intelligence, these skills are measurable and deemed critical tor creating a successful workforce, notes the National Network of Business and Industry Associations. Still just a small traction of schools, less than 30%, include comprehensive SEL training in their curriculum.

Increasing the number of schools implementing comprehensive SEL by just one percent means approximately400,000 more kids gaining critical skills for success in school, work, relationships, and life.

EQuip Our Kids! to the Rescue

EQuip Our Kids!, a national nonprofit campaign, has taken the lead in raising awareness about addressing this vacuum. We recognize that parents and businesses can be important partners in advocating tor the adoption of SEL curriculum which this nonprofit aims to include in every preK - 12classroom by 2030.

To help jumpstart those conversations with key school contacts, EQuipOurKids! is now offering a free downloadable school engagement kit for parents, loaded with conversation starters and all the talking points needed to start those discussions that can influence decision-makers at the administration as well as teacher level to consider the critical benefits of including SEL training into their total curriculum

Parents can also help their children continue to hone these SEL skills at home by taking advantage of Equip Our Kids! weekly parenting tips.

This posting originally appeared at

Patricia Kutza is a partner (with Connie Payne)in OGMS & Co. Their company offers books and workshops based on social and emotional learning principles to schools, labor workforce units and senior living communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

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