To my Move This World Friends, Family and Partners:
Despite the start of a new year, it seems that we will be continuing on the roller coaster of 2020. Last year was extreme, and much harder than we could have ever imagined. We experienced tremendous loss and grief on a global scale, beginning with massive wildfires in Australia and ending with record high numbers of cases and deaths from COVID-19 around the world. We saw widespread unemployment and hunger as inequality grew to new heights. The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor led to an outpouring of support for racial justice. And in this new year, we’ve seen an assault on our democracy. Yet, in the face of all this, citizen activists canvassed to get an all time high number of people to vote. First responders and health care workers struggled to save lives, and scientists raced to bring us vaccines. All while, they and the rest of us stayed six feet apart from the people we love.
All of this, and especially the last part, is particularly difficult for those of us who work in education or have a child in school. Teachers, parents, and students face unprecedented challenges to simply get through the day. We desperately miss our school families and look forward to returning to school as soon as safely possible.
The challenges and grief we face make social and emotional skills all the more important and I could not be more proud of my team for meeting the moment with ingenuity and determination. In 2020, we doubled down on our vision to make social and emotional learning tools available to every student, and we are better positioned than ever to reach even more students, teachers and families in 2021. Here are some of the accomplishments I’m most proud of at Move This World:
- We launched a free mental health COVID-19 resource center where educators, families and students can access tangible tools to support themselves and their communities’ emotional wellbeing
- We safely returned to set, again doubling the number of videos in our content library
- We launched an Audio Network for screen-free, participative social emotional learning with two podcasts: The Saracast: Conversations in Social Emotional Learning for educators, leaders, and practitioners and The Emotion Motion Podcast for children 3-8 and their grown-ups
- We added closed captioning to all videos to ensure accessibility for all kinds of learners
- We implemented a new MTW Platform to ensure easier, more intuitive use for educators
- We opened up MTW Platform access to all families of MTW partner schools
- We made our Professional Development offerings available virtually to support educators and leaders wherever their work is taking place
- We aligned our PreK-12 curriculum with evidence-based SEL assessment
- We received recognition in The Wall Street Journal, NBC, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Edutopia, EdSurge, Education Dive, and The Tennessean
Our belief in the work has never been stronger. Though it’s always been important, the urgency to be successful has never felt more tangible. While we can’t predict what the new year will bring, here is what we’re aiming for in 2021:
- Further differentiated content by grade level and by SEL competency
- More Power of Pause content on demand to support self awareness and self management and to be used to cultivate mindfulness
- Independent student logins for 6th-12th graders to allow for a more personalized, asynchronous student experience
- Improved data reporting in the MTW Platform
- Further opportunities to explicitly cultivate SEL and connection at home
- Seasons 2 and 3 of The Saracast: Conversations in Social Emotional Learning and The Emotion Motion Podcast
- An expanded team to deliver on and accelerate the scale of this urgent work
As always, we will lead with empathy, full of the belief that social and emotional learning is the foundation to help people navigate all of life’s challenges. We are determined to help as many students as possible to make this a year of healing.
Together we can Move This World,