With over a decade of experience in Social and Emotional Learning, COOL TO BE ME are credible experts in the field of SEL curriculum design and implementation; SEL educator training, and SEL consulting to organisations and schools.
Our aim is to assist in making evidence-based social and emotional learning an integral part of a child’s formative years at school and at home. International research has shown that Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a highly effective approach that not only promotes personal development and well- being but also enhances classroom climate and academic success.
We understand the unique and differing needs of our partner schools and organisations. We work closely with each of them implementing strategies with the most appropriate programmes to achieve their specific objectives within the context of budget and infrastructure. We believe in building strong relationships over time and are committed to delivering on-going support and innovation to all our valued clients. Our growing team of COOL TO BE ME licensed, SEL specialists help us deliver on this promise.
The ultimate objective of this comprehensive approach is to ensure that SEL is actively and naturally embedded within relationships between educators and learners; parents and children and children themselves, peer to peer. Our easy to implement training modules and curriculum resources facilitate this process for each of these groups presenting wonderful opportunities within a classroom and home to engage in meaningful dialogue that reinforces the learning opportunities of SEL.
COOL TO BE ME offers SEL training and mentoring as well as SEL curriculum design to select NPO, licensed partners, based on their unique needs and programme objectives.
The Kariega Foundation
COOL TO BE ME have partnered with The Kariega Foundation in a pilot project endorsed by the Department of Education, to integrate Social and Emotional Learning into the schools in the Ndlambe District in the Eastern Cape. The objective of the intervention is to determine if SEL can positively impact school and classroom climate for learners and educators resulting in better learning environments and improved academic results. In addition, the Kariega Foundation is measuring the impact of SEL on the social dynamic in communities and a shift in behaviour and attitude towards caring for and protecting the environment and endangered species within the neighbouring reserves. The pilot project includes broad SEL educator training using the COOL TO BE ME SACE accredited on-line training course; the implementation of the COOL TO BE ME curriculum and placing a Social and Emotional Learning specialist in each of the partner schools to support the process.
CoolPlay is a Not For Profit (NPO) Trust founded in Cape Town in 2010. COOL TO BE ME was commissioned by CoolPlay to create the CoolPlay curriculum. A CoolPlay Champion, skilled in social and emotional learning techniques, conducts year round rugby and netball training sessions, centred around the CoolPlay curriculum. There are eight main principles (above right) unique to CoolPlay
- Team goals
- Team values
- Identifying Skill and character strengths
- Creating team spirit / cohesion
- Maintaining composure
- Optimistic thinking
- Responsible decision making
Coolplay Sport is not only fun, but it offers a powerful analogy for life. CoolPlay constantly strives to enable players to transport the CoolPlay conversations they learn on the sports field into their lives. CoolPlay is also licenced to facilitate all other COOL TO BE ME programmes. They have had overwhelmingly positive results from COOL TO LEAD and Building Blocks Red.
From the launch of our pilot at Luzuko Primary School in April 2012, it was evident that having learners participate in organised life skills and sporting activities is hugely beneficial. Not only does it help them meet their need for physical growth and expression, it helps them to better handle the challenges they face growing up in Gugulethu.
Siyavuselela Sports and Lifeskills was launched in 2012, Siyavuselela Xhosa for ‘we are reviving’, uses sport as a catalyst to revive learners’ dreams of a future filled with opportunity and optimism. Siyavuselela has a vision to restore Gugulethu to a place worthy of its forefathers’ dreams: ‘igugu lethu’ meaning ‘our pride’ in isiXhosa. Siyavuselela runs Physical Education programmes during school hours, as well as soccer and netball with life skills as part of its’ After School Sports Programme. It is operating in 10 primary schools in Gugulethu.
There is broad recognition that sport is about more than competing to win and developing fitness. Children who play sports from an early age develop real-world skills that they can apply to all areas of their lives. Playing team sports improves learners’ capacity to handle failure as well as increasing their work ethic, discipline, and willingness to make sacrifices, to name just a few of the benefits.
Similarly, the benefits of the Life Skills programme reach far beyond the classroom. We follow the COOL TO BE ME SEL curriculum which focuses on applied Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
This process helps build the learners’ ability to acquire and apply the skills needed to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
The steady growth in the number of learners reached is testament to the success of this model. What the numbers do not show is the extent to which this success has been built on the intentional sharing of ownership with local stakeholders; from the active involvement of parents and teachers to the recruitment of youth from the community as coaches.
By getting the whole ‘village’ to raise its children, Siyavuselela has planted the seeds from which sustainable support will grow.
Our youth are at risk of being left out of productive society, with over 60% of South Africa’s learners dropping out of school and 41.7% of young people unemployed and not in education programmes.
Columba Leadership is an award-winning non-profit organisation with a 10-year track record and evidence of deep impact, at a national scale, of changing the lives of young people by improving their life skills, education, and vocational outcomes.
Columba develops ethical young leaders (15-25) who are powerful problem-solvers and change agents. They partner with schools in 6 provinces in the most under-served communities. Using a value-based experiential model young people learn and integrate the values of ethical leadership, the foundation for the development of character, purpose and 21st-century skills.
Post-school, the Columba graduates show excellent rates of successful transition with 70% entering work or study opportunities within 6 months of leaving school. The Columba programme shifts the school’s cultures to provide a more conducive environment for youth development and learning, with a ripple effect into homes and communities.
Since 2009, Columba has worked with over 200 schools, graduated more than 9000 learners, and currently has an active alumni network of 4500 young South Africans who have become a force for good in their communities.
Cool To Be Me and Columba Leadership have partnered with the objective of training the Columba Alumni in the principals and practices of SEL and the delivery of the COOL TO BE ME curriculum, so that they may take these important skills back into community schools; and use the personal development gained through the training as a vehicle to move forward with their personal goals, particularly in furthering their studies and employment.
The partnership between Columba and COOL TO BE ME aims to increase and sustain the movement for positive change and impact in South African communities.
Read more: https://www.columba.org.za
Our School Partners
International research has shown that Social-Emotional Learning is a highly effective approach that not only promotes personal development and well- being but also enhances classroom climate and academic competencies.
Best practice in effectively integrating SEL into the school community and enjoying the full range of benefits it yields, indicates a school must prioritise the following steps:
- Establish a whole school vision that prioritises academic, social and emotional learning.
- Engage in whole school SEL educator training.
- Implement a school-wide SEL curriculum, particularly from Grade 1-6 (the primary window of opportunity for SEL).
- Involve parents in the learning journey with their children.
The success of the COOL TO BE ME approach is our ability to assist schools in designing an implementation plan that delivers on these four points, taking school values and ethos, budget and infrastructure into account.
Trinity House Randpark Ridge
The Grove Primary
United Herzlia Schools
The Golden Grove
The International School of Cape Town
International School Houtbay
St Andrews Prep
Kwa Zulu Natal