A variety of resources are used to shape the important social emotional skills of the second grade class. The Second Steps curriculum helps guide kids by effectively teaching them skills in self-regulation and self-advocacy, empathy, management of emotions, and conflict resolution. The program is a powerful and timely tool to build vital life skills for the young people in today’s world. In addition, core virtues are highlighted with our school-wide PAWS program and touch on skills such as respect, responsibility, preparedness, diligence, safety, and perseverance. These are explicitly taught as well as modeled in the classroom and beyond. We also incorporate mindfulness in second grade classrooms. This is a time where students focus on being present and learn what it means to notice the way they are feeling. There are many studies that show the science behind this practice and showcase its success in the classroom. It has been shown to help students regulate behavior and focus on their learning. To enhance community and a sense of belonging, students also have school mentors or 5th grade “big buddies” whom they meet with bi-weekly. During this time buddies get to know each other and learn together.