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Homer Elementary School Embraces Second Step for Social Emotional Learning

Homer Elementary School is taking a new approach to social emotional learning (SEL) with the implementation of Second Step, a program developed by the Committee for Children. Second Step, reaching over 24 million children globally annually, empowers students with essential social skills for a lifetime.


SEL provides children with tools to effectively manage and express their emotions, fostering empathy, emotional maturity, and teamwork. Second Step aims to create a structured environment for students and educators to build on SEL from grade to grade, ensuring a seamless progression in learning.


"Students learn a lot about who they are, understanding that everyone is perfectly imperfect,” Homer Second Grade Teacher Carissa Rockwell said. “It starts with acknowledging mistakes and grows into discussions about emotions, self-pride, and helping others, ultimately leading to effective problem-solving skills."      


Educators at Homer Elementary are emphasizing the importance of a common language around SEL. This language is used district-wide, and translates completely throughout the district.


"With this program, students start building social-emotional skills from pre-K, kindergarten, and beyond.” Teacher Whitney Funk said. “It helps them identify their struggles, express their feelings, and communicate with their peers in a healthy way."


The Second Step program encourages students to embrace a growth mindset, promoting statements like "I can do this" or "I can't do this yet, but I'll keep trying." The emphasis is on fostering resilience and a positive attitude.


Second Step was introduced to families in the district following the work and planning of the Homer Social-Emotional Wellness Committee. For more information about our strategic planning, please visit