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Social Emotional Wellness (SEW) Newsletter

November 2016


I am Elisa Mendels, the Social Emotional Wellness (SEW) facilitator at the Cooke School. I visit every classroom at the Cooke School on a regular basis to educate our students on social emotional wellness. The classroom teachers are involved in the lessons, in order to provide follow up with our students.

As the families of our children, I would like to share with you what we have been doing.

I incorporate yoga and/or mindfulness activities into mostly every class. This is to both have the children exercise, as well as use breathing as a way to calm and relax their bodies.

This year, I have taken over as the coordinator of our Edible Garden. My goal is to have every student take part in helping out with our garden this year. So far, 2nd and 3rd grades have helped to clean out the garden and plant garlic this fall. A 5th grade class has helped with testing our soil.

We started our year working on “teamwork” in September. The students in the various grade levels did various activities to help build teamwork in their classroom. We did this by playing games such as “pass the hula hoop” (all grade levels), “islands” (grades k and 1) “the Human Knot” (grades 5) and using walking boards in grades 4 and 5. They were fun, interactive lessons that taught the students the importance of working together.

Our overall theme in school this year is “citizenship.” We learned what makes someone a good citizen; as well as things that we can do in the school and classroom, at home, and in the community to be good citizen. Our school-wide SEW committee and I are in the process of finishing a project called “Art of a Community,” in which every person who works and/or goes to school at Cooke produced a small piece of art which will be displayed as a mural in the school. A great lesson that shows that together we can make great things! Come see it next time you come in!

We are currently in the middle of a unit on feelings. Being able to appropriately label and express feelings is vital in order to have adequate social and emotional functioning. We have done lessons on feelings in general (defining individual feelings, and showing what they look like), the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable feelings, and the difference between feelings and behaviors.

Look for SEW newsletters on a monthly to bi-monthly basis. We will be sending home the first couple, and will eventually have them on the Cooke web page.

If you ever have any questions or want more information, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to call me at 845-794-8830 x 40120 or email me at

Elisa Mendels
Social Emotional Wellness Facilitator
School Social Worker
G.L. Cooke Elementary School