SEL and Mental Health Programs for Middle Schools
You’re Never Too Cool for Kindness
Anyone who’s been there (and even some who haven’t) will tell you that adolescence ain’t easy. The landscape of the in-be-teen is riddled with potholes and detours. Middle School inhabitants can be unpredictable: one minute surly and sulking, the next bold and boisterous. The struggle to stake out a social identity in such a dynamic environment can lead to conflict, when boundaries inevitably collide.
The message of Rachel’s Challenge is finely tuned to speak to this dilemma. We approach it from two directions: by teaching better emotional regulation skills, we give students a firmer foundation to stand on, helping them build the confidence, security, and resilience to cope with their daily experience and their changing world. From that solid ground, we invite them to reach out, to overcome prejudice, and grow critical social emotional skills like empathy and compassion.
We provide simple tools that encourage self-reflection, and help reframe negative experiences into a source of learning and strength. And by creating a shared experience around the story of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shootings, we invite a bond that can forge connection out of differences.
What’s amazing is how effective it is. For all their aloofness and feigned detachment, it turns out that Middle School students are keenly in tune with the need for kindness – perhaps more than most. So when we give them permission to be kind, and model some simple behaviors, the chain reaction that emerges gains a lot of momentum, fast. Negative behaviors like bullying and social isolation quickly wither in the path of a rumbling Middle School kindness train.
Positive Behavior Support with SEL
We prefer to say that we are not an anti-bullying program; that instead, we are pro-kindness.
Because when it comes to behavior management, the effective power that comes from supporting positive behavior far outweighs disciplinary action taken against negative behavior. Which is a fancy, technical way of saying that carrots work better than sticks. Especially when so many of us are hungry for the very things Rachel’s Challenge presentations model: connection, compassion, and hope.
Our Middle School programs are age-appropriate, with different levels of subject sensitivity for varying maturity levels. Both Digital and Live programming allows for customization and flexibility for your school. Digital and Live tracks are complimentary and completely modular. Our Live school assemblies are 60-minute presentations followed by a 1.5-hour training. Our Digital offering is a 6-week classroom program with follow-up and supporting materials.
What About K-8 / K-12?
We’ve worked with hundreds of K-8 or K-12 schools over the past 20 years. We know that each school is a unique blend of students with a unique set of needs.
At Rachel’s Challenge, we work hard to deliver age-appropriate content that speaks specifically to the intended audience. To do this in a K-8 or K-12 setting, we make all our elementary, middle school, and high school programs available. That way you can work with your Rachel’s Challenge representative to put together the program that is right for you.