The SEL Committee was created as a sub-committee of the SLT to support and strengthen the social emotional experiences of our children, teachers, parents and the community at PS 154.  Social Emotional Learning is intended to teach children specific social-emotional skills like self-awareness, self-management, empathy, perspective taking and cooperation. In short, these are the lessons of emotional intelligence, which science has consistently shown is a greater determinant of success and happiness than IQ or academic ability. 

The research behind the academic success of students immersed in social emotional learning demonstrates the importance of these experiences for our children.

The SEL Committee aims to bring social emotional learning skills to the PS 154 community through various programs including parenting skills workshops and professional development.


Are you a PS 154 parent who would like to get involved? Join the SEL Committee Google group. Once you have logged in as a Google user, you will have the option to apply for membership.

Join now



60 min presentation, 30 min Q&A in the PS 154 Multi Media Room - MMR
Open to PS 154 parents and the wider community
Suggested donation $5
Babysitting: available onsite for children K and older

The SEL Committee has organized a workshop for parents to learn about a modern, healthy approach to talking about sex with our children.

Workshop Description

The notion that a single sex talk at home or a few health classes in school are enough to guide kids toward healthy choices and sexual empowerment is, thankfully, fading. But that leaves many parents floundering. Many of us want to encourage conversations with our children about bodies, gender, boundaries, consent, sex and sexuality, but we aren’t sure what to say, how to say it, or when to begin. When is the “right time” to start talking? How young is too young? What, exactly, should we be talking about at various ages?

In this workshop for parents of elementary­-aged children, sex educator Rachel Lotus will discuss the importance of the “early and often” approach to conversations about sexuality, explore the powerful connection between our own sex ed histories and the messages we send to our kids, and send parents home with actionable steps, practical help with language, and resources for all ages.

Topics include:

  • Early and often: start talking, keep talking.

  • Social and emotional side of sex education: beyond biology.

  • How and when to talk about difficult, oft ­avoided topics.

  • Reflections on our own sex ed histories. What are the belief systems we hope to leave behind or pass on to our children?

  • Points of entry: how to start conversations proactively instead of waiting for questions to arise.

  • Additional support for kids: sex ed classes with peers.

  • Resources for kids of all ages and stages.

    To learn more about the organization and the presenter:


Impact of Social Emotional Learning on Academic Achievement

How Youth Learn

Book list from

Book list from CASEL


Raising Human Beings, Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child, Dr. Ross W Greene
Cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence. Explains theory and gives actual wording to use with child

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, Dr. Laura Markham
Practical guide to fostering emotional connection with your child to create real and lasting change instead of threatening, nagging, pleading, bribing or punishing

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk - by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish 

  • Cope with your child's negative feelings

  • Express your strong feelings without being hurtful

  • Engage your child's willing cooperation

  • Set firm limits and maintain goodwill

  • Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline

  • Give helpful vs unhelpful praise

  • Resolve family conflicts peacefully

Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
Parenting strategies based on neuroscience and understanding how kids’ brains work

How Can I Talk If My Lips Don't Move?: Inside My Autistic Mind, Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay
Autism - rare insight into the autistic mind and how it thinks, sees, and reacts to the world

Parenting from the Inside Out, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.
Offers parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck, PhD
People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment

Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson, PhD
Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. You’ll learn to see through the lies your brain tells you. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build strengths into your brain—counterbalancing its ancient negativity bias—making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. In mere minutes each day, you can transform your brain into a refuge and power center of calm and happiness. You can hardwire in happiness.

Simplicity Parenting, Kim Payne M.ED
Today’s busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood. With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish.

Playful Parenting, Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D
Play is children’s way of exploring the world, communicating deep feelings, getting close to those they love, working through stress and blowing off steam. Join kids in their world through play to solve behavior problems, create strong bonds and communicate with your child.

Lost at School, Ross W. Greene, Ph.D
Dr. Ross W. Greene, author of the acclaimed book The Explosive Child, offers educators and parents a different framework for understanding challenging behavior. Dr. Greene’s Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach helps adults focus on the true factors contributing to challenging classroom behaviors, empowering educators to address these factors and create helping relationships with their most at-risk kids.

The Explosive Child, Ross W. Greene, Ph.D
What’s an explosive child? A child who responds to routine problems with extreme frustration—crying, screaming, swearing, kicking, hitting, biting, spitting, destroying property, and worse. A child whose frequent, severe outbursts leave his or her parents feeling frustrated, scared, worried, and desperate for help. Most of these parents have tried everything-reasoning, explaining, punishing, sticker charts, therapy, medication—but to no avail. They can’t figure out why their child acts the way he or she does; they wonder why the strategies that work for other kids don’t work for theirs; and they don’t know what to do instead.

Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, Daniel Goleman
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny. Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart. The best news is that “emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

The PS 154 Parenting Book Club


This book club serves as a safe, supportive discussion space for parents to learn new parenting philosophies and tools, and to share their parenting challenges and successes within the context of a chosen book. Participants will share a common desire to learn and possibly practice new ways improve their relationships with their children. The books chosen will be aligned with the mission of the PS 154 SEL Committee: to support the social and emotional learning of our children and of those who teach and care for them.


*Please* join us for the second club meeting! The book is Playful Parenting: An Exciting New Approach to Raising Children That Will Help You Nurture Close Connections, Solve Behavior Problems, and Encourage Confidence, by Lawrence J. Cohen. The meeting will be held in the MMR on Thursday, December 6 at 6:30pm. We will have 90 minutes to share our thoughts and ideas, and then can continue socializing off site at a TBD location once our time is up.

Book discount from Terrace Books
We have partnered again with Terrace Books at 242 Prospect Park West to offer parents a 20% discount on the purchase of the book. To do so, order the book online through the link and instructions below:

Link to buy the book at a discount:

To get the discount, you must:

  1. Select PAY AT STORE for payment

  2. Select TERRACE BOOKS as the pick up location

  3. Write PS154 in the notes section

Here are some additional details about the book club:


  • Didn’t finish the book?

    • Come anyway. Life happens and not everyone will get a chance to finish. Non-readers may still have valuable insights and may just want to listen and learn.

  • Disagree with something?

    • All opinions are welcome. Let’s agree to be gracious. There is never any one way to experience or interpret a book. In fact, differing opinions can make great discussions when done peacefully. If you feel yourself getting too triggered, take a deep breath and pause before you speak.  

  • Feeling chatty?

    • We are, too! We love hanging out, so there’s time after the book discussion for socializing. It’s tough to find time to truly reflect on our parenting so let’s keep the book discussion focused on our shared purpose.

  • That dominating personality in the room

    • Make sure it’s not you. Let’s all agree to check ourselves.

  • Share responsibly

    • When sharing, it helps to avoid strong language like “awful” or “ridiculous” -- even “like” and “dislike” can put others on the defensive. Instead, report your experience—how you felt as you read the book: “I felt angry as I read the part about…”

  • Assume good intent

    • Talking about parenting can bring up feelings of inadequacy and feeling judged. Even an innocent comment can be interpreted as a criticism. Remind yourself that we’re on the same team and here to support each other. Put up your healthy mental boundaries so you can learn as much as possible.

The book club schedule is:

  • Book 1- October 11, 2018: Raising Human Beings, Dr. Ross W. Greene

  • Book 2 - December 6, 2018: Playful Parenting, Lawrence J. Cohen

  • Book 3 - February

  • Book 4 - April