The provider of social emotional learning programs supports 1.5 million students in 38 states

Bambi Francisco Roizen interviews Sara Potler LaHayne, CEO of Move This World.

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Here are some takeaways:

  • Move This World (MTW) ​​started in 2007 while LaHaye received a Fulbright Scholarship. It started as an academic project. Since then, it has touched 1.5 million student lives in 38 states.

  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process through which we recognize, identify, and manage emotions. It enables us to build positive working relationships and avoid negative behaviors. Practicing emotional social and emotional skills should be done in the same way as practicing math and science. Empathy is a muscle that needs to be developed.

  • MTW recognizes that people carry emotional backpacks. MTW gives students, teachers and families the opportunity to identify and express what is in those backpacks to see what we are all carrying around on our backs. The program is offered in five minute video bites. The teachers hit play and the video takes over the lesson. Each video contains opportunities to explore our own emotional states and to reflect on and apply SE skills such as breathing to our lives. Schools use these videos at the beginning and end of the day to provide structure and routine. Some teachers also use the videos before the tests. For elementary school students, SEL programs teach emotional vocabulary. For middle to high school students, they learn how to set goals and make decisions.

  • What about the results? In schools that have used SEL programs, incident reports have decreased by up to 28%, and suspensions have also decreased.

  • About 75% of the schools that pay for MTW are public; School districts pay a subscription fee to get access to all content, as well as coaching for teachers.

  • About 75% of all schools say they offer some form of SEL, but post-school yoga and mindfulness or meditation are not SEL. SEL is an evidence-based, developmental curriculum.

  • What drives this lack of coping skills? 24/7 message cycle; The spread of technology has robbed us of our ability to be present. While we are present (we are in the same room) we are not present with family and friends.

  • Religion provides structure, routine, and values ​​that can help people feel grounded. These routines and teachings can also teach meaning and gratitude.


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