The Evolution of Move This World

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  • Dance 4 Peace Is Born

    Sara Potler LaHayne, Founder and CEO of Move This World, traveled to Bogota, Colombia as a Fulbright Scholar. She collaborated with her Fulbright research team and a variety of skilled creative arts therapists and educators to author the first iteration of the Move This World curriculum, known as Dance 4 Peace.

  • Return to the US

    LaHayne returns to the US and begins implementing the program in the DC Metropolitan area. LaHayne works with advisors at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia to develop a system for meaningfully evaluating program effectiveness.

  • Direct Service Beginnings

    Dance4Peace is incorporated as a non-profit. Operating as a direct service organization, Dance4Peace trainers work directly with students in schools to teach important social and emotional skills through movement and other creative modalities.

  • Move This World Is Born

    Dance4Peace rebrands as Move This World to more authentically represent the team’s mission of creating a world where everyone belongs.

  • Evolution to Train the Trainer

    Move This World shifts from direct service to train the trainer in order to reach more school communities.

  • Video-Based Program Goes Live

    Move This World launches their first video-based program and transitions to a for-profit model in order to expand their work and increase impact.

  • Key Research Partnerships

    Move This World establishes a partnership with the American Institutes for Research to review the curriculum annually and ensure the program is appropriately scaffolded, differentiated by grade level and aligned to the five core competencies of social emotional learning: self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.

  • One Million Students & Counting

    Move This World surpasses one million students impacted to date. Move This World continues to expand their video-based curriculum, differentiating the curriculum by grade level.

  • Third Party Research

    Move This World publishes their first third party research study in partnership with Sioux Falls School District, proving the impact that the program has on behavior incidents and school suspensions.

Move This World Began Half a World Away

Move This World’s unique approach to social emotional learning through movement and creative expression is not simply one aspect of our program; rather, it is the very foundation upon which we were built. Research shows that social emotional learning in the classroom is beneficial, but the method for teaching these skills will determine how students retain and apply them over a lifetime.

Our story began in 2007 when Sara Potler LaHayne, Founder and CEO of Move This World, traveled to Bogota, Colombia as a Fulbright Scholar. Concepts like empathy and conflict resolution were being taught from textbooks without a process for practical application. They were simply words on a page, and students weren’t engaged.

At recess, however, Sara noticed that students were applying the very social emotional skills that they were struggling to connect with from a textbook. When a boombox started playing reggaeton music, suddenly the students were dancing, engaging with each other, building friendships, and communicating through movement and creative expression. The mood was playful, and the students connected with each other and encouraged one another as they danced.

That was Sara’s light bulb moment. That is when
Move This World was born.

Sara began connecting the dots of her life experience and education to imagine a program that would teach students emotional skills for lifelong impact. As a dancer, Sara understood the authenticity of conveying emotion through creative expression. Based on her experience in the classroom, she knew that children express themselves more authentically through movement and learn more comprehensively through physical experience.

To build the framework for Move This World, Sara first worked with the physical education teacher to create a music and dance program for social emotional learning in her Bogota classroom. She collaborated with her Fulbright research team and a variety of skilled creative art therapists and educators to research her discovery. Based on the impact in her classroom in Bogota, Sara and her team were dedicated to creating a sustainable program that would cultivate learning communities where everyone felt like they belonged.

Working with the American Institutes for Research and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, Sara and her team developed the program to meet the needs of every school environment across the country. The result of Sara’s vision and the team’s exhaustive research is a Move This World curriculum that employs movement and creative expression to comprehensively teach the five core competencies of social emotional learning as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Sarah
Sarah

Sara began connecting the dots of her life experience and education to imagine a program that would teach students emotional skills for lifelong impact. As a dancer, Sara understood the authenticity of conveying emotion through creative expression. Based on her experience in the classroom, she knew that children express themselves more authentically through movement and learn more comprehensively through physical experience.

To build the framework for Move This World, Sara first worked with the physical education teacher to create a music and dance program for social emotional learning in her Bogota classroom. She collaborated with her Fulbright research team and a variety of skilled creative art therapists and educators to research her discovery. Based on the impact in her classroom in Bogota, Sara and her team were dedicated to creating a sustainable program that would cultivate learning communities where everyone felt like they belonged.

Working with the American Institutes for Research and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, Sara and her team developed the program to meet the needs of every school environment across the country. The result of Sara’s vision and the team’s exhaustive research is a Move This World curriculum that employs movement and creative expression to comprehensively teach the five core competencies of social emotional learning as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Sarah - Move this World

Move This World launched as a direct service organization, quickly grew into a train-the-trainer model, and in 2014 became an online video-based program. With social emotional learning available on demand in any classroom across the country, Sara’s vision has become a reality that is Moving This World.

Today, no matter the social and educational dynamics that exist in a given school, Move This World’s program can be implemented and immediately begin having an impact. Administrators and teachers have every tool at their disposal, whether online or through direct support from a dedicated program manager, to facilitate the curriculum in classrooms. Teachers do not have to prepare any materials to begin and supplementary resources make it seamless to address deeper issues as they arise. Students and teachers look forward to getting centered and applying social emotional skills throughout the day.

Move This World’s mission is clear: to create school communities, and ultimately a world, where everyone belongs. As students cultivate empathy, build resilience, and discover new ways to manage their emotions, they create a more supportive learning environment that will contribute to their future academic success, career fulfillment, and lifelong happiness.

Are you ready for a transformation that brings learning back into focus at your school? Contact us to get your students on their way to Moving This World.

Learn more about the Move This World Pre-K through Grade 12 social emotional learning program and curriculum today.

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