page top

red arrow bulletNews

Social Emotional Wellness (SEW) Newsletter

G.L. Cooke Elementary School
December, 2017

Dear Families:

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 a variety of topics related to social and emotional wellness. The classroom teachers are involved in the lessons so that they can provide follow up with our students.

In order to keep you informed, I will be putting out a newsletter every couple of months. This is what we have been working on this school year:

  • Yoga and/or mindfulness activities get incorporated into mostly every class. This is to have the children exercise, as well as use breathing as a way to calm and relax their bodies. Mindfulness also helps teach the students to focus and pay attention.

  • Several classes helped out in our Edible Garden this fall, preparing it for winter. Our goal is to have every student take part in working on our garden this year. So far, we cleaned out the beds and surrounding areas, put down hay, and planted garlic. We are starting an after-school gardening club this spring.

  • We began our year with creating class charters in September (Part of the Yale University social emotional learning, "RULER" Program . The students first identified how they want to feel in school, and then they listed how they need to behave in order to experience those feelings. They also listed what we should do if people violate our charter.

  • The students participated in various activities to help build teamwork in their classrooms. We did this by playing games such as “pass the hula hoop” “the human knot” and using "walking boards." These are fun, interactive ways to teach the students the importance of working together.

  • In October and November, we focused on identifying and appropriately expressing feelings. I introduced the "mood meter" to students—also part of the RULER Program. This is a way to look at various feelings in terms of both energy and pleasantness levels. You can download a "mood meter" on your phone or look it up online. The students are now able to identify their feelings based on the "colors" of the mood meter.

  • We are currently in the middle of our anti-bullying lessons in SEW. We have identified what bullying is, how it makes people feel, and are discussing ways to counteract bullying in our schools. Our older students will be creating skits and coming up with other ideas for how to deal with bullying in our school

It gives me great pleasure to work with your children. 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