Social and Emotional Learning: Part 1

Posted on September 13, 2021

by Kaitlin Weiss

What is Social and Emotional Learning?


Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an essential part of education and human development. It is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are important for school, work, and life success.


Social emotional learning is a process that helps students of all ages to: 

  • better understand their emotions
  • feel those emotions fully
  • understand and share the feelings of others


Why is it important?


These learned behaviors are then used to: 

  • help students make positive, responsible decisions
  • create frameworks to achieve their goals
  • build positive relationships with others


People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.


In the long run, greater social and emotional competence can increase the likelihood of high school graduation, readiness for postsecondary education, career success, positive family and work relationships, better mental health, reduced criminal behavior, and engaged citizenship.


How can the library help?


The Library has storytimes that focus on helping children better understand their own feelings. They also explore how certain situations and happenings make others feel as well. For a list of storytimes for your child’s age, visit our page of events


The library is a safe space for kids to learn about themselves and their communities. We promote empathy, inclusion, and personal responsibility. The library can help children become global citizens, ones who seek to understand themselves and the world around them. With either programs or books, we can inspire the next generation to make the world a better place.


Check out these books at the library to help develop SEL skills!:


Summer of Brave by Amy Noelle Parks 

A coming-of-age story set in the time of academic pressure, divorce, and the #MeToo movement. Parks weaves multiple challenges facing adolescent girls into a compelling, seamless narrative.



Breathing Makes It Better: A Book for Sad Days, Mad Days, Glad Days, and All the Feelings In-Between by Christopher Willard 

An engaging and interactive story showing children ages 3-6 the power of breath when dealing with new and difficult emotions.



Can I Play Too?  By Samantha Cotterill

Friendship–and trains!–take center stage in this gentle, inviting story about paying attention to other people’s feelings.




Squint  by Chad Morris 

Thirteen-year-old Flint, aka “Squint,” is determined to finish his comic book in time to enter it in a contest before he can no longer draw due to his eyesight loss. Squint has a degenerative corneal disease that has left him with thick glasses that do little to correct his vision. But they do make him a magnet for bullying by popular kids.



Paul, Big, and Small by David Glen Robb

Paul Adams has always been short, but he’s an excellent rock climber. And his small size means he can hide from the bullies that prowl the halls of his high school. Paul, Big, and Small is about the turbulent, emotional lives of young adults who are struggling with life’s challenges openly and sometimes in secret.



What the Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde

Will I still be loved if I show people who I really am? Four high school seniors. Four secrets about to be told. A poignant and gripping YA novel about the unlikely friends who accept you for who you really are and the power of self-acceptance.



Smarter Than a Monster: A Survival Guide by Brandon Mull

Little kids have big fears, which they often imagine to be scary creatures, like monsters. This picture book uses humor and a fantastical imagination to uncover the truth about monsters. As well as guiding young readers to good habits that can last a lifetime.

Kaitlin Weiss

Kaitlin Weiss

Kaitlin (Kaiti) worked as a K-5 Media Specialist at two elementary schools in Hammond for 13 years before she became a member of the Community Engagement Team. She enjoys storytimes with the babies, going out into the classroom to teach lessons, and creating fun programs for the community. When not reading a book you can find her spending time with her two nephews, family, and friends, traveling to new places, crafting, and binge watching TV shows.
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