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Enriching Education: SEL Day 3/11

The third annual SEL Day on March 11, 2022. SEL Day celebrates the growing movement to equip all preK – 12 students with the social and emotional life skills they need to be happy and successful in school, relationships, work, and life.

This year, EQuip Our Kids!, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to increase awareness of SEL,  is hosting an online webinar featuring parents who are SEL expert parents whose children have transformed and thrived from experiencing SEL in their schools.

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One trait that is more important than talent or experience

In an interview, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated that empathy is the one trait that is more important than talent or experience.  Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of other people. Having empathy means you can focus first on the people and their needs. However, all too often it is an afterthought.  

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Our children are facing a mental health crisis — we can and must address it today

The  return of students and teachers to classrooms is highlighting the extraordinary impact the pandemic has had — and continues to have — on students’ mental health. Anxiety about making friends, the loss of loved ones who passed, and difficulties with basic behavioral skills are a few examples of social and emotional pressures. If left unmet, the mental health needs caused by these pressures will mark this generation in yet another way and keep them from living up to their potential.

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Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research

Empathy contributes to positive relationships and organizational cultures and it also drives results. Empathy may not be a brand new skill, but it has a new level of importance and the fresh research makes it especially clear how empathy is the leadership competency to develop and demonstrate now and in the future of work.


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The Secret to Raising a Resilient Kid

Resiliency is the ability to engage with a challenge, risk or impediment, and come out the other side with some measure of success. It’s a psychological principle blending optimism, flexibility, problem-solving and motivation.


Most experts say resiliency is something that can be fostered, nurtured, and developed in children from a very young age.


The ability to bounce back is more important now than ever; here’s how to impart it.

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Ways Parents Can Build Kid’s EQ

Incorporate Emotional Intelligence into family fun

Summer evokes a long-standing pastime for families to take a break from the school year and work. Picnics, amusement park rides, and getaway excursions usually top the list of things to do. But have you thought about including self-awareness into your list of family activities?

  • Want to watch engaging puppets act out their emotions?
  • Learn some catchy and educational dance steps?
  • Or show your artistic side in an online adventure game?

Families can interpersonally connect with each other when they engage their feelings and those of others.  Emotions matter, and practicing mindfulness, empathy, and self-awareness are the building blocks of emotional intelligence. So why not start instilling these characteristics in the formative years to become second nature in adulthood.   

Check out the following list of resources.  Most of the sites provide free access. 

Many are entertaining, such as the Sesame Street videos, while others are enlightening and informative. There’s something for everyone from pre-K to adults!


​​Welcome to the Big EQ Shop! 

Our store has a variety of plush dolls, card games, and books free or paid for. 

Video games with emotional intelligence themes:

The Game | Online Activities For Mental Health

Go Noodle Games and Videos


Parents Online Resources EQuipOurKids and Family Online Resources EquipOurKids 

Includes links to free and paid EQ home games.

Social Skills for Parents TODAY 

Books and guides for Pre-K to Post High School ages. 

Social and Emotional Development Videos

Share Song Sesame Street 

Play Together

Difficult Tough Talks Sesame Street

Love My Hair Sesame Street (Engish/Spanish)

Name That Emotion with Murray!

Mindful Physical Activities

Bring out your inner Zen with this yoga application. Try it out for two weeks free. 

Why Are Some People Mean? | Cosmic Kids Zen Den (Mindfulness for Kids)

How to Make Good Choices | Zen Den | Mindfulness for Kids

Zen Den | How to Deal with Nightmares | Mindfulness for Kids

Yoga Class: Following My Teacher | Sesame Street 

Song: Elmo’s Got the Moves | Sesame Street 

Song Dance – Elmo Slide Sesame Street

For Adults

EQ Tips, Exercises, and Videos  

The guide includes meditation audio to relieve mental stress.

When families engage their senses, they bring balance to their lives and improve relationships. Adding awareness activities shows parents and children a mental map on how they can empower their interactions through emotional intelligence-building games, physical activities, and more.


New study reveals surge in Anti-Asian hashtags

Hateful words continue to matter, whether they are hurled attacks in person or hashtags online. A recent study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, researched approximately 700,000 tweets and found that users that used the hashtag #chinesevirus were more likely to associate it with racist hashtags.

The increase of verbal and physical anti-Asian rhetoric has had an impact on social media, Twitter specifically.  Anti-Asian hashtags using the term “the China Virus” increased after former President Donald Trump tweeted it for two weeks in March 2020, according to a recent study. Such divisive language can encourage bias and misinformation.

Such speech also shows a lack of self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness, some of the critical tenets of Emotional Intelligence.  Hateful words can desensitize to a point where the accusers see people through their lenses as inhuman and not equal.  

According to Yuin Hswen, Professor of Epidemiology at University of California San Francisco, who contributed to the study, “These results may be a proxy of growth in anti-Asian sentiment that was not as prevalent as before. Using racial terms associated with a disease can result in the perpetuation of further stigmatization of racial groups.”

The researchers believe that the former president’s action may have influenced others to imitate his language on Twitter. The study also found that users who adopted the hashtag #covid19, based on the official name of the virus used by the World Health Organization, were less likely to post racists hashtags. 

Capitol Hill has been watching the increase of Anti-Asian attacks closely and is taking action. In April, the Senate passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to combat the violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The bill awaits the House of Representatives’ vote, which will most likely pass due to the Democrat majority. President Joe Biden supports the passage of the bill. 

The legislation puts accountability on and guides police departments that report hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. If passed, it would increase education awareness to combat discriminatory language. Congress recognizes that actions and words matter.

The developments that led up to the Senate passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act are part of the Emotional Intelligence process. The violence and divisive language of Asian Hate offline and online was an outcry for help, and the bill is Capitol Hill’s response. 

Congress is self-aware that discrimination does exist nationwide and is acting on it. They made a conscious decision to draft and support legislation that will have positive consequences for the victims and communities. 

Managed awareness and managed action against hateful online and offline attacks are part of the Emotional Intelligence journey, which can be taught and learned through Social Emotional Learning.  Such skills benefit individuals, workplaces, and communities with long last effects. 


Applying Emotional Intelligence to Combat Rise of Asian Hate Crimes

by Dyna Lopez

The rise of harassment, discrimination, and assaults on Asians and Pacific Islanders began shortly after the COVID 19 pandemic started a year ago. There’s been a surge in incidents since February. Some attacks have been fatal. And according to statistics, the trend doesn’t look like it will decline anytime soon.

It started with the divisive language of China Virus.

We all need to be more socially aware of our words. Hateful words are deeply affecting Asian American’s sense of security. 

“I don’t feel safe anymore,” said a Chinese American resident in Austin, Texas. He didn’t want to reveal his identity out of fear of retribution from the community. 

“Why did you hit me!? Why?!” That’s what 75-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie of San Francisco asked her assailant who was handcuffed to a stretcher after she fought him back. She was treated at the hospital and released for minor injuries to her face and eye. Steven Jenkens, 39, faces charges of assault and elder abuse. 

Just 30 minutes prior, Jenkins had assaulted 83-year old Ngoc Pham. He suffered fractures in his nose and neck and was recently released from the hospital. He continues to receive treatment.   

Eight people shot and killed at three businesses in Atlanta were not as fortunate. The gunman, Robert Long, was charged with murder and assault. Most of the victims were Asian. 

Words Matter

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders attribute the rise to the divisive language of “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” instead of  “Corona Virus” or “COVID 19”.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting project from Chinese for Affirmative Action and the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, there were more than 3,800 incidents of coronavirus-related discrimination in the U.S. from March 2020 through February 2021.

These are just reported numbers as many AAPI’s do not notify police due to the language barrier and/or fear from the perpetrator. 

58% of Asian Americans received racist comments since the pandemic began according to a recent Pew Research Center study.  

The ramifications are leaving psychological and emotional effects. It’s taking a toll on the AAPI community as they harbor feelings of mistrust, insecurity, and stress..

“When you attach ethnicities or nationalities to disease-related terms, it can have a stigmatizing effect on these communities,” said Yulin Hswen, Professor of Epidemiology at University of California San Francisco, who contributed to the study.   

As families and their children gradually return to the classrooms and re-acclimate with their classmates and parents, how are communities reacting to the news which is becoming all too frequent in the past month?

Are children aware of racism, bias, and stereotypes? 

Would they recognize it?

And if they did, how would they react to it? 

What conversations or words do children say to other children of a different race that may sound insensitive or indifferent? 

Professor Hswen hopes the study will make people aware and think carefully about the words they use to describe any disease.

Applying Emotional Intelligence 

Compassionate social awareness is a key part of emotional intelligence. A friendly greeting to people that we would not ordinarily associate with is a start. It’s as simple as reaching out to someone with whom you don’t normally associate with according to Andrew Yang, a former Democratic Presidential candidate who is running for Mayor of New York City. 

“And you may surprise someone, but that to me is like an immediate step towards seeing each other as human beings and trying to open up our sense of who’s in our community”, said Yang.

That first step can be towards your neighborhood or city. For starters, you or your family can support national and local AAPI owned businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, etc. Or, volunteer at your national or local AAPI non-profit organization. (See a list of anti-Asian violence resources.)

The most valuable support that you can provide is to speak out against stereotypical, insensitive, or racist behavior and words. Inaction is compliance. It’s a barrier to learn and grow from within. Asian Americans nationwide have been peacefully protesting bringing awareness with Stop the Hate themed support. 

“This kind of hatred and violence has to stop and that we have to start seeing each other as human beings”, said Yang. 

For Xie and Pham, those attacked in San Francisco, they see this wave of racial turmoil as a turning point. They want everyone to redirect the anger and frustration into empowerment.  Now that Asian discrimination is in the spotlight from the Office of President of the United State’s to local AAPA oranizers, they feel the swelling tide against hate and violence is bigger than just them. 

Through awareness they want to harness their pain into results oriented action. Xie and her family are contributing 100% of the more than $950,000 raised from her Go Fund Me goal to local AAPI local support groups. Pham stopped accepting funds when his $25,000 goal was met. He wants contributors to focus their support on fighting for equality.  

Self and social awareness are some of the key tenets of emotional intelligence.  It’s making the decision that you will learn how to behave within yourself. Learn by being mindful of your perceptions and attitudes. Learn how to deal with yourself and others makes for trusting and healthy relationships.