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PCA-Chicago Collaborates on Social-Emotional Learning with Communities in Schools of Chicago


With a generous gift by a private family foundation, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Chicago and Communities in Schools (CIS) of Chicago launched a partnership at the beginning of this year to provide positive coaching programming to Chicago Public Schools students at schools participating in the CIS of Chicago network.

Communities in Schools of Chicago works with 200+ community partners to support the academic, social-emotional, physical and mental well-being of Chicago public school students by providing programs and services — at no cost to the students — that address the prioritized needs identified by their school leaders.

PCA-Chicago has conducted seven workshops thus far in 2019 with the most recent taking place at Webster Elementary School in the West Garfield Park community. PCA-Chicago trainer Leigh Podlesny lead fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes through a series of games and activities under the Junior Triple-Impact Competitor workshop umbrella. By planting the seeds of becoming a “Triple-Impact Competitor”, the lesson plan aims to help students understand the power of positivity and how it can lead to success for individuals and teams. Students also learned about not fearing mistakes, but rather using them to learn and improve.

Melissa Richardson, CIS of Chicago support specialist at Webster Elementary, commented  “I thought the sessions went really well. The students seemed to really enjoy themselves and have fun. Also, I have heard from (the) teachers that they have observed students using some of the skills they learned, such as high-fiving each other and/or engaging in other forms of positive communication (verbal and non) to show each other support and encouragement.”

At Nathan Hale Elementary school, another partner CIS of Chicago school located in the Clearing neighborhood, teacher Kimberly Kane noted, “PCA’s Jr. Triple-Impact Competitor activities are a direct focus on Social-Emotional Learning, and compliment what we’re trying to do with our students in the classroom.  Through PCA, we’re able to better instill discipline and increase students’ ability to exercise self-control.”

Looking ahead to the new year, PCA-Chicago looks forward to continuing the partnership with Communities in Schools of Chicago to introduce positive coaching to more CPS students. PCA-Chicago relies upon the generosity of caring individuals and organizations to make its programming possible. Please consider making a gift today in support of PCA programming at Chicago Public Schools. 

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