Unlocking the Joy of Reading: Inspiring Lifelong Adventures, Empathy, and Growth Through Books

Welcome to the captivating world of literature, where turning a page can transport you to uncharted territories, provide fresh perspectives, and promote positive social-emotional skills, all contributing to your overall well-being. Imagine immersing yourself in a mesmerizing novel, such as "How the Garcia Sisters Lost their Accent," and becoming so absorbed in the sisters' captivating story that you question their decisions aloud, almost as if they were real people in your life.

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When One-Size-Fits-All Doesn’t Fit All Students

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to address the mental health crisis in young people. There are many things contributing to the stress and anxiety students are experiencing like trying to catch up after COVID, dealing with social and emotional issues, even dealing with public discord and things they see on social media.

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Why It Is Imperative to Vote in School Board Elections

Across the country, local school boards shape and monitor education policies and programs that directly impact millions of public school students each year. On April 25, Newark, NJ voters should cast their ballots. Participation is vital – it gives community members a chance to have a say in who will have a tremendous impact on decision-making in our local school districts and, ultimately, on our kids.

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Ronald Chaluisan on New Jersey Morning Show

Newark Trust for Education Executive Director Ronald Chaluisán recently joined the New Jersey Morning Show to share valuable tips about how caregivers can navigate conversations with kids’ teachers. 

Chaluisán said that parents and guardians should walk into these conversations with an intention to create a productive relationship with the teacher that will help their child meet and exceed their educational and behavioral goals. When parents are in tune with teachers, they can get a comprehensive understanding of how they can best support learning and developmental growth at home.  

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What Exactly is SEL? Why Do Children Need It?

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Day is an excellent time to reflect on the impact that social and emotional skills have on learners of all ages. While education experts know its value, many parents, caregivers, and adults are unaware of the benefits SEL holds and how it impacts students.  

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Ripple Effects II: The Power of Adult SEL

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL, 2021) defines SEL as the “process through which all children and adults acquire and learn to apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” While homewas previously seen as the site for social-emotional learning, and school for academic learning, recent work challenges this dichotomy. 

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Why All Students Benefit From Learning Black History

Black History Month is a special time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of Black leaders, past and present, to inspire future contributions, innovation, and achievement. All students benefit from learning Black history. By teaching students the complete story of America’s history, they will have a deeper understanding of the society around them and be inspired to advocate for causes that align with their interests.

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States Need to Adopt Comprehensive SEL Standards

This is the final article in a five-part series of insights from Newark Trust for Education’s Director of P-12 Strategy, Stephanie Parry, on the value of social emotional learning (SEL).

For SEL to be most effective, implementation should be specifically geared towards the groups it is intended for. One way states can help ensure that SEL practices are age-appropriate is by providing broad standards by age group. A comprehensive and tailored set of guidelines can also create consistency and alignment across districts and provide direction for teachers implementing SEL programs.

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We Must Ensure SEL Providers Are Aligned and Integrated With Unique School Environments

This is the fourth article in a five-part series of insights from Newark Trust for Education’s Director of P-12 Strategy, Stephanie Parry, on the value of social emotional learning (SEL).

Often overlooked players in the SEL ecosystem are program providers that are contracted to work in schools and districts. Though experts agree that integrated and embedded district-wide systems and practices are most effective, many schools find it helpful to partner with outside agencies to bring SEL programs to their students and staff.

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Schools Must Incorporate Family, Student, and Community Voices Into SEL Implementation Practices

This article is the third in a five-part series of insights from Newark Trust for Education’s Director of P-12 Strategy, Stephanie Parry, on the value of social emotional learning (SEL).

Systems and practices to support social emotional learning should create meaningful engagement with such partners and decision makers as students, families, and communities. This ensures strategies are age-appropriate, culturally relevant, and widely understood and adopted by stakeholders.

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Districts Should Ensure That Systems and Practices Support Adult SEL

This article is part of a 5-part series of insights from Stephanie Parry, Newark Trust’s Director of P-12 strategy on the value of social emotional learning (SEL).

While the improvement of student competencies is central to the case for SEL in schools, learning cannot happen without adults. The pandemic highlighted the need for schools and districts to make educator well-being a priority and create environments in which both students and staff feel safe and supported. SEL is a tool to help educators improve their own social emotional skills, which in turn can lead to positive outcomes for the students they teach.

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Meet Students in the Middle!

Keeping SEL engaging in early adolescence 


The eye rolls got more frequent in seventh grade. That I clearly remember. My affectionate, enthusiastic children became moody and distant. Even a decade of working in middle-grades educational research did not prepare me for my turn as a parent to middle graders. So, while I was not surprised when I saw the drop in enthusiasm for social-emotional learning (SEL) among seventh graders on a survey we recently conducted, it did make me want to dig deeper into what works in SEL during early adolescence.  


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The Value of SEL and the Science Behind It

This article is the first in a five-part series of insights from Newark Trust for Education’s Director of P-12 Strategy, Stephanie Parry, on the value of social emotional learning (SEL). 

Contentious rhetoric from a minority of people has put educators and experts on the defense about the long-established benefits of social and emotional learning (SEL). After months of political football on the topic, and with heightened national concern about student well-being and learning loss, it’s time to get back to the discussion about what states, districts, and schools should do to ensure students are developing the competencies necessary to promote learning and development. The Newark Trust has identified four actionable steps in a K-12 Dive article authored by Stephanie Parry that explores how schools can implement SEL with maximum benefit. 

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Narrowing the Digital Divide: Our Future Depends On It

The digital divide refers to the gap between families that have quality computer hardware and high-speed internet –and those that don’t. The Newark Trust for Education has long been an advocate of digital equity for all students. Our Executive Director Ronald Chaluisán recently spoke with KQ Education Group about the urgent need to ensure that all learners have access to a computer and high-speed internet service, stating that these items are not luxuries – they are necessities. In the interview he says, “one lesson of remote learning is that every student needs a computer and internet access at home.”

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Interview with Marquise Guzman, Senior Program Manager of Neighborhood Partnerships, Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Rutgers University-Newark


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