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2016 Leading with EQ Fellowship: Culminating Impact Project Proposals

The National AfterSchool Association's Leading with Emotional Intelligence Fellowship is designed to develop the emotional intelligence (EQ) of afterschool leaders. In the Fellowship's inaugural year, 17 afterschool leaders were selected. Each fellowship participant received funding to complete a culminating impact project. Here, we offer a look at some of those projects.

Kimberly Luce | Project Director, Child & Adolescent Treatment Services

Child & Adolescent Treatment Services (CATS) works with children ages three to 21 who have mental health challenges. CATS' Building Brighter Futures program (BBF) aims to enhance academic achievement and social-emotional development, and to foster lifelong interests in the arts, recreation and other areas by providing high-quality in- and out-of-school opportunities. BBF currently provides social and emotional learning opportunities at 13 sites. A full-time site coordinator, social emotional coordinator or both manage each program site.

Luce plans to share her Emotional Intelligence Fellowship experience with BBF's full-time staff members and then will develop a series of workshops to train other BBF staff members. She will use the teachings of Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, as written in their book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, to assess the staff's current EQ. Personal strengths and opportunities for growth will then be identified and each participant will be given an EQ journal in which they will record an action plan, chronicle their progress and track beneficial strategies. Finally, the full-time staff will use their newly acquired EQ knowledge to form professional development tools that will be utilized by CATS' part-time staff and by other regional providers.

Kate Meyer | Program Administrator, YWCA of Southern Arizona

The YWCA's La Escuelita program serves severely disadvantaged families and youth of the city of South Tucson. Through the information she has gained through the Leading with Emotional Intelligence Fellowship, Meyer plans to provide a mini-workshop series on Emotional Intelligence, Social Emotional Development and Mindfulness. The workshops will be delivered to high school and college-age mentors and volunteers, as well as to several schools' afterschool program staff. There will be no charge for these programs, so none of these individuals will be financially precluded from participating. Meyer will also host learning classes through the University of Arizona's College of Public Health.

Program participants will be given the opportunity to discuss and reflect upon what they have learned.

Jodi Miller | Program Manager, Kids Inc.

Kids Inc. uses the Responsive Classroom Approach to address children's social and emotional intelligence needs. Its staff, however, has never focused on their own EQ. To remedy this, Miller plans to make emotional intelligence training available to her site coordinators and their assistants. She will use the teachings in Emotional Intelligence 2.0 to begin this training process. As the months progress, she will check on the participants' EQ progress by using anecdotal data. Miller will also review the site coordinators' lesson plans to ensure that their newly gained knowledge is being incorporated into the lessons presented to the afterschool students. Miller will also present this information at Kids Inc.'s statewide Director's Retreat.

Jessica Juarez | Student Supports Manager, Communities in Schools of Chicago

Communities in Schools of Chicago (CIS) works to support its students and empower them to stay in school and excel in life. Juarez plans to begin what she has termed the Youth Emotional Intelligence Initiative, or YEII, which will help students develop their EQ by using social and emotional intelligence learning activities.

The YEII focus will be to support the CIS youth support group: Skill Building, Healthy Habits and Emotional Intelligence (SHE). Emotional Intelligence strategies will be used to guide SHE group members through an important learning process that will show them the importance of taking turns, sharing, listening and bonding. The YEII program outcomes will be shared with CIS and Carson Elementary staff, to expand SEL learning opportunities.

Susan West | Supervisor, Arlington Public Schools

Susan West plans to form an EQ Leadership Academy. Six 90-minute sessions will take place during the six- to eight-week Academy. Supervisors, assistant supervisors, and possibly aides and trainees will be eligible to participate in this program.

The sessions will address topics such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Each session will begin with a general group discussion; small group conversations will follow. West will utilize the "Last Word" facilitation method, which involves a participant reading selected information and discussing its personal significance. Each member of the group will have an opportunity to share in this way. Open-ended questions will be used to assess each session.

Stay tuned for future National Afterschool Association e-newsletters featuring the program proposals of other 2016 EQ fellows.

Written by Lisa Stickler, staff writer for AfterSchool Today magazine.