The social emotional learning program is being introduced nationally by National University and is now in more than 20 states, including Pre-K through fifth-grade classrooms in Clark County School District
The Sanford Harmony program, a research-based social emotional learning program, has reached a significant milestone with district-wide implementation taking place in PreK-5 throughout Nevada’s Clark County School District – the fifth largest school district in the country. Since its nationwide launch two years ago, Sanford Harmony, which is based on the vision of entrepreneur and philanthropist, T. Denny Sanford, has expanded to thousands of schools in more than 20 states. The effort is being led by National University, a California-based private nonprofit university with among the top ten largest schools of education in the country.
Nationwide, more than 16,970 classrooms are currently in various stages of implementing Sanford Harmony, which represents more than 366,000 children in cities throughout the country from Los Angeles to New York City, and now in Clark County.
“The Clark County School District has fully embraced the Sanford Harmony Program,” said Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky. “Through this curriculum, which is developmentally and culturally appropriate, students are afforded multiple opportunities to learn how to manage challenging situations, make responsible decisions, establish and build positive relationships, and learn how to regulate their own behaviors. This is a curriculum of acceptance, in which all students feel important. We are proud to be a part of this amazing opportunity for children, which enhances and compliments the great work all teachers in grades PreK-5 are doing in the Clark County School District.”
Mr. Sanford, who visited the district’s Aggie Roberts Elementary School Dec. 8 to observe the program being used there, said he was pleased to see children, teachers and schools embrace the program: “The Sanford Harmony program is something I feel truly passionate about, and it gives me great pleasure to see these boys and girls find common ground and develop mutual respect and understanding for each other.”
The rollout in Clark County School District aligns with Nevada and district efforts to support a greater emphasis on social emotional learning approaches. Nationally, the federal education law, Every Student Succeeds Act, also places a greater emphasis on academic aligned concepts that address “whole child” issues.
“We are very excited to partner with Clark County School District to provide the Sanford Harmony program, which is making a very powerful difference in so many classrooms around the country,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, Chancellor of the National University System, which includes National University. “The adoption of Sanford Harmony in the fifth largest school district in the country represents a very significant milestone in the ongoing adoption and impact of this program, and a testimony to the great vision of Mr. Denny Sanford himself.”
The Sanford Harmony program is based on Mr. Sanford’s vision of encouraging children to develop more positive relationships into adulthood. It was refined over more than five years by university researchers to reinforce positive peer interactions through activities and lessons that emphasize collaboration, communication and respecting differences. Initial research indicates improved academic performance, increased empathy and a more positive attitude towards school as well as reductions in stereotyping and classroom aggression.
With a campus in Henderson, Nev., and campuses throughout California, National University is leading the nationwide dissemination of the program in coordination with school districts, individual schools as well as other university members of the Sanford Education Collaborative. The program has been embraced for use by Head Start programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, private and public schools and other organizations, such as LA’s BEST, which runs after school programs. Sanford Harmony – which includes professional development training, educational resources and other materials to support program implementation – is being provided at no charge to participating schools and organizations through a combination of sources, including an initial donation by Mr. Sanford, anonymous donations and National University.
About Clark County School District
Established in 1956, Clark County School District is the fifth largest school district in the country, educating almost 75 percent of all students in Nevada with more than 320,000 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade. The district encompasses 357 schools and approximately 8,000 square miles in southern Nevada and is a minority majority student district. With more than 40,000 employees, CCSD is also the largest employer in the state. www.ccsd.net
About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is among the largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With more than 150,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the Sanford College of Education; College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at more than 28 locations throughout California and across the nation – including in Henderson, Nevada – and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. To learn more, visit www.nu.edu