What is Seeds of Success? Seeds of Success is a resiliency and social-emotional learning program offered through St. John Fisher College’s Institute for Civic and Community Engagement and Community-Engaged Learning Program. Seeds of Success is designed to develop a resiliency mindset and enhance social-emotional literacy through teaching resiliency skills to children impacted by poverty and other challenges. Curriculum is aligned with several of the NYS ELA standards. Resiliency is defined as “a set of qualities that helps a person to withstand many of the negative effects of adversity” (Gilligan, 2000).
How Does Seeds of Success Work? Participating children are introduced to books, games, and activities that teach the five “seeds” of resiliency: Autonomy, Social Competency, Problem-Solving, Persistence, and Purpose, and Future. College-attending students work with a small team of children, or a whole class, over the course of about 10 weeks. A celebration closes the program each semester and acknowledges the children’s accomplishments. Each child will receive a certificate of completion, a book to own, and a Seeds of Success T-shirt.
Why is this SOS Important for Children? Seeds of Success is a particularly valuable initiative for the city of Rochester as it has the highest child poverty rate in the nation (The Community Foundation, 2015). Poverty’s impact on children’s learning and development is severe. Building resiliency ameliorates the negative effects of this impact, including trauma. The child-college student relationship offers children a positive college-age role model.
Why is this SOS Important for College Students? Participating in service-learning and community service is beneficial to the college student “guides” because of the opportunity to better understand the needs in our community, interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds, gain interpersonal, teamwork, leadership, and academic skills, and develop a commitment to bettering our world.
What are the Intended Outcomes? By the end of the Seeds of Success program, participation children will be able to:
Recognize and name their emotions
Describe what makes them unique and identify positive qualities in others.
Understand the importance of empathy in maintaining positive relationships.
Use listening skills to identify the feelings and perspectives of others.
Recognize that others may experience situations differently from oneself.
Identify goals for personal behavior or academic success.
Learn how to persist despite obstacles.
Learn how to be effective problem solvers school and at home.
Make positive choices when interacting with classmates or at home.