Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Alliance for MA (SAM)

Posted on April 07,2014 by msppblog

sel4mass_logoMSPP has many members that have joined the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Alliance for Massachusetts (SAM) Nicholas Covino, Bob Lichtenstein, Margaret Hannah, Craig Murphy, Erika Johnson and Nadja Reilly have all joined because the mission of SAM is to help all young people succeed socially, emotionally and academically by advancing and supporting effective social and emotional learning programs, policies and practices in all schools and communities in Massachusetts.

SAM takes advocacy seriously as an integral part of moving education toward policy changes that reflect the views of health care providers and educators alike. Teachers can be trained to be the first responders in what is clearly a mental health crisis in the United States. SAM gives expression to the views of those who believe in educating the whole child in a safe and supportive environment by teaching skills that makes people happier and more successful.

With eight working committees, SAM has assisted in bringing social-emotional learning into the Boston mayoral campaign where both candidates adopted an education policy that includes SEL. SAM has already met with Mayor Walsh’s education advisor. Representative Ruth Balser (D. Newton) is preparing legislation to file on SAM’s behalf in January 2015 to make SEL training required to obtain a teaching certificate in Massachusetts. Twenty-two people have signed up to become part of the SAM SEL Speakers Bureau to go and speak to the community, wherever they meet, about the benefits of implementing effective SEL in their schools. They will be going to speak this summer, fall and winter. SAM is having its third Annual Spring Conference on May 22, 2014 at Wellesley College addressing the topic, “Leveraging SEL in an Era of Accountability.”

Lastly, a new committee, chaired by school psychologist Carla Volturo of Hudson Public Schools, called the School-Based Mental Health Providers Committee, is being launched. If you are interested in joining, please contact Carla Volturo at We encourage you to get involved in making change happen.

There are no dues incurred when you join the SEL Alliance because it is a grassroots effort to join together to move policy makers. Everyone has volunteered their time, in whatever capacity they can, to work in this educational policy initiative. So far over 300 people have joined SAM in just the last two years. You can see who the membership is and where they work by clicking on Committee listings here.

Please join us at the SEL Alliance for Massachusetts because there are great people involved and you can make a difference. You can join quickly by filling out the form here.