This year our 4th grade students are participating in a program called SMART RELATIONSHIPS, a program specially developed for LCA. It uses experiential learning as it coaches students on social skills basics. All 4th graders are assigned to a small group for the year, which meets with Sharon Buffie, the School Counselor. The groups meet approximately one time a month, covering topics such as: valuing self and others; belonging; knowing the differences between conflict, unkindness, and bullying; using “I messages”; learning specific methods to handle relationship difficulties; and becoming an ally for others.

This month the students gathered as a group to talk about including others. They did activities where they experienced exclusion by trying to keep someone out of the circle by linking arms while others were trying to get in. They discussed words like belonging, excluding, and feeling safe. They also talked about practical ways to include others in activities in school and outside school.