You know you’ve done something important when the news media calls to feature you. Merrick Union Free School District in New York, U.S., has done something very important.
Lions Quest is invaluable for teaching social emotional skills.
In 2018, New York’s state education department made mental health education a required curriculum component. Recognizing the critical importance of the subject for both students and teachers, in 2016 Merrick began offering Lions Quest – Lions Clubs International Foundation’s (LCIF) signature social and emotional learning (SEL) program. When the media heard about the district’s success with educating students and teachers on stress, peer pressure, bullying and other impacts on mental well-being – it came calling.
“Social emotional development is as important as academic learning in preparing students for happy, productive and resilient lives,” said Merrick Superintendent Dr. Dominick Palma, who chairs a superintendent subcommittee on mental health and substance abuse issues. “Lions Quest is invaluable for teaching social emotional skills. The lessons are reinforced throughout the school day and apply to daily life.”
With newly gained insight, fifth-grader Rachel said, “Lions Quest helps me get along with my classmates well and work as a community.”
A story of heartache and hope
During what should be a carefree time of life, many U.S. youth face daunting challenges:
- 20% of high schoolers report being bullied at school; 1/3 report being bullied online.
- 4,300-plus young lives are lost annually to excessive drinking.
- Reading scores and bullying are directly correlated.
But there’s hope for youth everywhere:
- Positive school climate practices like Lions Quest often reduce absenteeism and bullying.
- Harvard University found students participating in Lions Quest reported improved perceptions of school climate, and physical and emotional safety.
- Every US$1 spent on SEL initiatives yields US$11 return on investment.
LCIF and Lions: delivering solutions
Youth worldwide benefit from SEL programs like Lions Quest. To date, more than 19 million students and 760,000 educators in more than 100 countries and geographic areas have taken advantage of Lions Quest age-targeted programming. LCIF proudly continues its more than 35-year commitment to our world’s youth.
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