Why the Equip Our Kids!

Campaign?

our why.

We know that kids can’t learn and function well when they are hungry, so we provide healthy food, nutrition education, and support. Likewise, we also know that kids can’t learn and function well when they are struggling with anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness, and other big emotions that come with growing up today. 

We need to equip all kids with the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) skills they require to grow up emotionally healthy as well as those additional EQ skills to manage their relationships, careers and entire lives in successful ways and reach their full potential. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is the most popular name of the curriculum used to teach these skills. 

The challenge is that most parents, businesses, and members of the public don’t know there’s a proven way to teach kids EQ life skills that have been developed over the last 40 years. What people don’t know about, they can’t apply in their lives or advocate for it in their schools and communities.

So EQuip Our Kids! stepped in to help promote universal and comprehensive adoption of Social-Emotional Learning.  Scroll down to read how we do it.

the big story - and the bigger story.

It is a very big deal that universal instruction to boost these skills means that almost all kids will gain the support and interpersonal skills they need to excel in and out of school. Studies show that this sets them up for success later in life as workers, parents, and citizens. 

Huge as that is, there’s an even bigger story: 

Most human suffering and conflict, personal and collective, results from lack of these skills that we can easily teach this and the next student generations. We believe that there’s no mission more important to the long-term public good than elevating the human capacity to deal with ourselves and each other in a healthy and productive ways.

When realized at scale, these skills will positively influence every facet of life and every challenge we face.  It has the potential to transform eons of toxic behaviors, conflicts and miseries passed down from generation to generation. 

who we are.

EQuip Our Kids! is a national nonprofit campaign raising needed awareness about and support for EQ life skills, especially among parents and businesses. Founded by civic-minded media, business and social entrepreneurs with no financial stake in the outcomes,  our goal is comprehensive EQ life skills instruction in every U.S. pre-K-12 classroom by 2030. (See Strategic Board.)

We want all schools to be supportive, joyful learning environments dedicated to helping the whole child succeed in all aspects of life – to the benefit of children, teens, school outcomes, families communities, adults, workplaces and  the economy and quality of life as a whole.
 
By focusing on the positive effects for children, the Campaign expects to arouse in most parents and in the general public the natural human passion for creating the foundation for healthy minds and spirits in the young, as well as for greatly increasing their potential for successful and happy lives.

how you can help.

You can take steps today to boost the EQ of your children or that of others’ children – and your EQ.  

what we specifically do...

In sum, EQuip Our Kids! seeks to be a catalyzing force in growing this wonderful educators movement.

To promote school-based EQ-raising life skills the EQuip Our Kids! Campaign does the following:

  • Tests various terminologies and marketing themes that appeal to different segments of the population when describing the benefits of providing every child with training in EQ life skills.
  • Creates online media, print materials and videos dedicated to educating the public about the positive, game-changing aspects of this learning in schools. 
  • Targets primarily parenting audiences and within that, specific demographic sectors. Also targets businesses.
  • Provides parents a curated Emotional Health Toolkit of best home practices and resources (videos, games, learnings) in order to incorporate EQ skills into their parenting.
  • Beginning this year seek corporate sponsorship and foundation funding for the the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for the U.S, composed of 20 independent state alliances whose many thousands of members are educators, program providers and community organizations. 
  • Conduct a campaign to get major corporations and the U.S. Chambers of Commerce collectively and publicly supporting SEL, as many companies have supported STEM curriculum in pre-college schools (science, technology, engineering and math). 
  • Provides Guidance to parents, educators, other stakeholders and the public on how to get comprehensive SEL skills adopted in local schools. 
  • Conducts local media campaigns where feasible to educate communities about local schools that are making a major difference in local youth pain by providing SEL life skills.
  • We founded as a separate entity with 1,200 members and provide services to the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for California supporting the expansion of SEL in the state in various ways.
 
  • Shares existing media materials with – or makes specific media materials for – grassroots education organizations already engaged in supporting SEL.
  • Collaborates with these organizations and provides media for the annual SEL Day social-media campaign, which this year received 12 million views over a two-day event in March. 
  • On the menu for next year: outreach to students, law enforcement, professional groups and others to endorse this skills learning in all schools and actively promote it.



...and some things we don't do.

  • We do not provide any specific Social-Emotional Learning curriculum, program, product or service.
  • We do not favor any specific philosophy or program related to Social-Emotional Learning.
  • We do not engage in political lobbying or activities that would violate our nonprofit status.

really important data.

A study of the lasting effects of SEL school experiences revealed, for example, lower young adult rates of poverty, homelessness, violence and crime alongside higher levels of adult success, happiness, successful relationships, mental and physical health and economic development.

Many companies now seek to hire for these life skills. Controlled tests by Google and reports from Human Performance Technology and others affirm that better teamwork, creative collaboration, and positive and productive workplaces are outcomes from higher employee emotional intelligence. 

Moreover, modern psychological and child development research reveals that individual and collective traumas and harmful behaviors result from family and social dynamics carried into adulthood – this often reinforced by an adult culture significantly under-trained to deal with such trauma. SEL provides young students the skills to manage their trauma and resulting reactions.

Implemented therefore on a generational level, SEL would lead to positive effects on the kinds of  interpersonal conflicts that have persisted for eons. Also on personal dysfunction, cultural inequity and racism, financial exploitation, injustice, and sexual and other abuses. 

Taught universally for a generation or two, and national leaders would be far less likely to go to war rather than collaborate on challenges, and might ideally even take down the nukes.  

Change the way individuals relate to self, life and others, and you change the world.

Community Support: Suncoast Foundation and Lee County Schools

Just by seeing the data where children are able to make better decisions, not let their emotions rule their decisions. It was eye opening for all of us to see how important SEL is in the schools. It aligns so closely with our mission of providing health and education and an emotional wellbeing for children. It was a perfect fit for us and we are happy to support it.

Cindy Helton, the Suncoast Foundation’s Executive Director

testimonial

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