For many New Mexicans, the term ‘adobe’ doesn’t necessarily default to computer software. Instead, images of the traditional mud and straw homes in every community come to mind. From the ageless homes high in Acoma, to the gracious homes in the Bosque and stately churches in Ranchos de Taos, the heritage of this timeless building material defines the Land of Enchantment.
For the Social and Emotional Learning Alliance of New Mexico, this year has been a year of building. In January SEL4NM became an official 501c3 organization. Each month we convene a growing number of colleagues from across the state to highlight diverse topics and feature New Mexicans with a wide range of expertise in social and emotional wellbeing in policy, early childhood, bi-lingual education and research. In October we collaborated with Committee for Children to host a policy and advocacy summit for educational leaders across the state. In November we teamed up with the LOR Foundation to conduct research on Wellness Spaces. At year’s end we formally partnered with Future Focused Education and in the spring we will be thought partners with FFEd collaborating schools to more intentionally integrate SEL practices and concepts into the everyday interactions and approaches to learning. The next few months will also see us providing professional development to Carlsbad Enrichment Center and the Chama Valley Arts project.
Just as mortar binds together adobe to create long standing structures that provide safety and comfort even during the most powerful storms, social and emotional skills connect people, programs and policies to create reliable, safe, inclusive communities. By nurturing mutually respectful relationships grounded in an authentic sense of identity, belonging and agency, SEL promotes life skills that are foundational to wellbeing in learning and in life.
Grounded in an understanding of our interconnectedness, thank you for being a part of the mortar that is SEL4NM. Thank you for contributing to circumstances that will allow all children, young people, educators and families in our state to flourish socially, emotionally, linguistically, culturally, physically and academically to become whole people who can be resilient and who will support others, in even the most powerful of storms.