SEL4Texas Newsletter

December 2020

A Newsletter Dedicated to SEL Advocacy and Integration

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Note from the President of SEL4TX

Welcome to our very first issue of the SEL4TX Smore! Our goal with this newsletter is to keep you informed and inspired about the latest and greatest happenings with social-emotional learning (SEL) in Texas.

You’re receiving this newsletter because you signed up to be a member of our group. We value and respect your time, so if you wish to be removed from the group, just send us an email at and we’ll be happy to oblige. Before you leave us though, you might want to read about what we’re doing to promote and advance SEL in schools and communities throughout Texas. Who knows, you might connect with something that sparks your curiosity or with someone who shares a common interest!

A bit about us –

The Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for Texas, or SEL4TX, is a nonprofit organization that formed in 2018 and we now have a membership of around 500 individuals, as well as a host of school districts representing more than 350,000 students. We are a diverse group of educators and community members who believe in the importance of SEL for our young people’s futures – and we continue to grow each day. We recently were invited by the Collaborative for Academic and Social-Emotional Learning ( to join their Collaborating States Initiative (CSI). We are very excited to be leading Texas in this effort and will be sharing more about this in the coming weeks.

We strive to be the ‘voice’ for SEL in Texas. While our membership consists of many voices with a diverse range of ideas and perspectives, we are united in our vision, mission and message. Through one, united voice we believe we can change pedagogy and practice in schools and communities throughout Texas so students will be equipped with the social, emotional, and academic skills needed for a rapidly changing and diverse workforce and for success in life.

We invite everyone – educators, parents, community members, and especially students – to join with our voice and help us advance SEL in Texas. Just go to and join today!

One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.” – B. Obama

We look forward to learning more about what you’re doing to advance and promote SEL. Let us hear your voice. You can contact us at or you can send me a personal email at I look forward to hearing from you!

Donna Black, President


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What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and 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.

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Royse City's SEL "Monday Minute" with Behavior Specialist Chelsie Stout

Cool Off Corner
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International SEL Day 2021

Join the Movement. The Urban Assembly and SEL4US invite communities across the globe to celebrate the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) on the second annual International SEL Day on March 26, 2021.

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Anytime-Anywhere: Webinars, Podcasts, and Professional Development

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty & Stress

Enrollment Begins December 9

(Register here)


Understanding and Preventing Youth Bullying & Peer Victimization during the Pandemic (Register here)

February 6

SEL: Soothing our Stressed GT Students Blended Learning

(Register here)

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CASEL CARES is a new initiative that connects each of you in our global community with experts to address how SEL can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstance.

Winter Holiday Support

  • Would a single email per day, containing a video, audio, inspiring quote, or encouraging thought, be something you would find helpful?

Your Happiness Calendar for December 2020

This month, practice generosity and connect with your loved ones.

TEA Resource: Trauma-Informed Training Series

As a result of school closures and remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been at higher risk of exposure to adverse childhood experiences and first hand exposure to the effects of COVID-19. We also know that many educators have themselves experienced a prolonged state of stress over the course of the pandemic and share many of the concerns regarding loss of safety, health, and predictability as students return to school. That’s why TEA has launched Project Restore and this trauma-informed training video series, which is designed to address these extraordinary and unprecedented needs and connect you to relevant science and strategies that can help you address your own emotional needs as well as the needs of your students and colleagues.
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In Memoriam

This past summer, COVID-19 took the life of one of SEL’s biggest advocates, Dr. Carol Booth. With her passing, the education profession has experienced the loss of a professional superstar. Dr. Booth was a founding member of the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for Texas (SEL4TX) and was a champion of SEL in Texas for many years. Throughout her career in education, she rose to many leadership positions, becoming a director of special education in Galena Park ISD and president of the Gulf Coast Administrators of Special Education. She had a breadth of experience, ranging from public school (Santa Fe ISD, Dickinson ISD, Galena Park ISD), community mental health, pediatric rehabilitation, education specialist at Region 4 ESC to being an adjunct faculty at several universities (UHCL, Lamar, St. Thomas, and the department of child and adolescent psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine).

While so many positions and accolades could be listed, Carol was not that person. She rarely if ever tooted her own horn, but she was definitely ahead of the times and developed and led school-based mental health programs before these were in vogue. From 2006 to 2011 Carol participated in a TEA project known as the Texas Collaborative for Emotional Development in Schools (TxCEDS). During her tenure with this project, she was instrumental in helping develop a state model for social-emotional wellness in Texas public schools. Carol was a strong advocate for children’s social-emotional development and believed it was important now, more than ever before, to embrace SEL in schools and communities throughout Texas. Given her involvement with SEL and school-based mental health initiatives, she was a visionary. In this new terminology we would refer to her as an influencer.

Many words have been used to describe Dr. Booth. She was highly respected, brilliant (little known fact: she attended a high school program for gifted students), never compromised intellectual integrity, and made better those with whom she worked and trained.

We will remember Carol for these things, and we will remember her as a colleague and a friend, but perhaps we will remember her most because she ALWAYS put children first. This is Carol’s legacy.

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