Great Path Academy Senior Facilitates Discussion at 2014 Youth, Civics and Positive School Climate Summit

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE     October 2014

 

Great Path Academy Senior Facilitates Discussion at  2014 Youth, Civics and Positive School Climate Summit

Akeel Benjamin, a senior at Great Path Academy, facilitates a student-centered discussion on school climate at the 2014 Youth, Civics and Positive School Climate Summit.

 
Akeel Benjamin, a senior at Great Path Academy, was selected by the ADL (Anti-defamation League) to participate as a panel respondent for the “Youth, Civics and Positive School Climate Summit”.  This event took place at the State Capitol and was held by the Commission on Children in partnership with the Born This Way Foundation, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Education and the CT Regional Office of the ADL.   
 
As stated in the event’s press release, “it was a morning-long summit on youth leadership and social and emotional intelligence and supports.  This is an outgrowth of bullying-prevention work done by the Commission on Children and its partners.  Youth from across Connecticut, along with superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and academic experts attended this event.  Closing remarks were delivered by Cynthia Germanotta, who co-founded the Born This Way Foundation in 2011 with her daughter, Lady Gaga”.  
 
The focus of the event was told through the perspective and the voices of youth and their own experiences of what they have done or what they hope that the adults do in order to create a safe emotional learning environment for all students. Akeel felt the strength in this attention to students, “it was not just youth listening, but giving insight.  The whole event was youth-led and that was really cool.”  Many experts weighed in on the effect of the educational landscape within this context.  Dr. Brackett, the Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, stated, “Schools are built around too many rules and not enough feelings.”  

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