SEL in Action at Home

February 2021 - Love & Care

February is a time to remember the people who have enriched the community with knowledge, pride, and respect. Learn ways to communicate compassionate emotions, like love and care, towards ourselves and others through empathy and compassion. We know that empathy, imagining what someone else is feeling or thinking then responding in a caring manner, is a skill and can be developed and strengthen with practice. Empathy and compassion are important in building healthy relationships, and personal and social well-being.

Empathy and compassion promote:

  • acceptance of others' differences
  • loving relationships
  • reduction in stress
  • improved mood

In this month’s newsletter, we've provided Black History Month resources, you’ll learn the different ages and stages of empathy, get movie, podcast, and book recommendations to promote empathy and compassion, as well as helpful videos and breathing strategies you can share with your entire family, and so much more!

SEL FAMILY DISCUSSION SERIES: Session 4 - Parent - Teacher Conversations , Feb. 17, 6:00-7:00 PM

As part of the SEL Dallas partnership, join Dallas ISD’s SEL Department for a series of 1-hour family-focused virtual sessions to learn about social and emotional learning (SEL) and important SEL skills. Parents and caregivers are welcome to join any session or the entire series. Click here for the session schedule and register below to secure your registration in the series. (Upcoming: Session 5: Family Emotional Safety, March 24th)


The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Such as:

• Taking others’ perspectives

• Recognizing strengths in others

Demonstrating empathy and compassion

• Showing concern for the feelings of others

• Understanding and expressing gratitude

• Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones

• Recognizing situational demands and opportunities

• Understanding the influences of organizations/systems on behavior

Big picture

Getting to the Heart of Black History Month

Every February, during Black History Month, we highlight the important contributions that African Americans have made to United States history, culture, and economy. Below are resources for families that can extend the conversation year-round.

Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office - Black History Month Programming

Black Culture Connection, Connect360 (PBS)

Celebrating and Learning About Black History and Culture (Reading Rockets)

2020 Black History Month Book List for Teens (CLP)

African American History Month (Library of Congress)

Teaching Your Child About Black History (PBSKids)

45 Books to Teach Children About Black History (The Culture)

Short Wave Celebrates Black Excellence In Science (NPR)

Random Acts of Kindness

Did you know that Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 14-20, 2021? We know everyone can use more kindness in their lives. Scientific evidence shows us the positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness. Even the smallest act of kindness can change a life. Visit the following link for resources like printable posters and calendars, stories, and kindness ideas for the whole family!

Podcasts For Kids

Circle Round, on NPR, was created and produced by parents of young children, adapting carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10. Each 10- to 20-minute episode explores important issues like kindness, persistence, and generosity. And each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups.

Explore Kidevolve for highly imaginative audio stories that deliver key mindfulness training for kids ages 6-12 with an innovative blend of music, sound fx, and incredible voice talent. Stories double as smart guided practices, tackling a unique challenge or opportunity and helping kids with different social-emotional skills. Course 4- Empathy: Switch on Compassion for Self & Others (Switch to the Inside, 16:15), Try on Compassion for Self & Others (Robot Heart, 7:52), and Find Compassion for Self & Others (Light Up your Day, 11:19)

How the Pandemic Can Teach Kids About Compassion

What if this crisis became an opportunity for children to deepen their sense of care? Scientists have suggested three ways that children develop compassion that are relevant to these times.

Books to Encourage Empathy

Research shows that reading fiction books promote empathy and are a good way to introduce children to diverse cultures and the struggles people face not just locally but around the world. These three book lists include suggestions for preschool-aged children to young adults. While reading, pause to ask questions such as, "How do you think she feels right now?" or "What do you think he needs?"

Common Sense Media

National Public Radio

Empathy Lab



Alex learns how empathy in action equals compassion. (EVERFI - 3 min.)
Try, Tye Again
Practice breathing in "THANK YOU" and breathing out "I LOVE YOU" to help build optimism, compassion, joy, happiness, self-love, and connectivity. (KidEvolve)
Heart Breathing | Empathy | Kids Mindfulness
The Social and Emotional Learning department is interested in your feedback as we develop an SEL discussion series for parents and caregivers. The series will help families become more familiar with SEL and actively engage in personal growth and supporting children's SEL practices. Each session will be approximately 45-60 minutes in length and will be presented virtually. Click the button above to participate in this quick survey. Thank you!

Share your story!

Did you try one of these Social and Emotional Learning strategies at home? Send us your story, picture, or video!