Problem-Solving for Young Students
The Schools for Children Extended Learning Programs work with students in PK-Grade 4. The staff helps the young students master the crucial skill of problem solving in creative ways, particularly when it comes to helping students face challenging situations.
According to Program Director Maridel Perdomo, helping prekindergarten to 4th graders learn coping skills is one of the ways Schools for Children ExL is “planting the seeds” for problem solving skill development. “The programs focus on teachings coping skills and resilience through play, activities and more, she explains. “The sooner young children learn these skills, the more effectively they can handle challenges throughout their life.”
She illustrated this with an example of a child who was having difficulty saying goodbye to his mother when dropped off at the program. The teachers suggested bringing something they could fit in his pocket that made him feel comfortable and reaching for it when he was sad and missing his mom.
The student brought a small stuffed animal from home, making him think of being at home with his mother. Whenever the student was homesick, he reached into his pocket to squeeze the stuffed animal, which helped him feel more at home and calm down. Bringing a piece of “home” with him every day began to make him feel more at home while at the program. He learned to make the program a “second home” and felt safe and comfortable there.