The Strengthening Families Foundation has identified five protective factors for healthy kids and families. The SELF Project touches on all of these factors in an effort to create stronger communities.
- Resilience – Our curriculum encourages a positive attitude toward challenges, an openness to different ways of solving problems, provides a safe space to express frustrations and failures and draw on community resources to problem-solve, and self-awareness which leads to better self-care.
- Social Connection – The SELF Project brings peers together (both students and parents of same-age students) in supportive communities and consistently encourages thoughtful discourse. Adolescents are incredibly driven to connect with their peers and our curriculum steers those connections in a direction that is healthy.
- Understanding Developmental Stages – The discussion topics, activities and meditations are rooted in the latest research on how the adolescent brain develops and has distilled and translated that information to students and parents in a way that is meaningful and understandable.
- Support – This curriculum encourages collaboration and discourse that highlights the similarities between participants and allows them to look upon each other as a source of strength.
- Social-Emotional Competence
Additionally, our curriculum prioritizes
- curiosity which has been shown to stimulate creativity, increase intelligence, improve learning and memory and enhance problem-solving.
- student-driven conversation which leads to greater interest and investment in the process
- story to convey key concepts because stories prompt our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin which, in turn, trigger our ability to connect, empathize and find meaning.