lexington richland district five

Cola Daily file photo, originally provided by Lex-Rich Five.

Lexington-Richland School District Five is partnering with The Hayden Hurst Family Foundation to implement a social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum within district classrooms.

The district signed a memorandum of understanding to utilize “In Focus” books and classroom lessons that will help train teachers and grow social-emotional skills for students.

"This partnership provides an opportunity to implement a SEL curriculum that supports teachers in what they do best: building relationships with students to help them develop skills for navigating the complicated world of emotions,” said Lucy Bailey, School District Five Behavior Specialist.

In the initial year of the three-year program, 64 kindergarten through eighth grade teachers will have daily conversation based SEL lessons with their students.

The In Focus curriculum focuses on building an understanding of how brain functioning impacts safety and security, human ability to identify and express emotions, and how humans use emotions to support and enhance learning. Daily teacher self-reflections are also integrated in the curriculum.

Former Gamecock Tight End, Hayden Hurst created the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation in 2018 to focus on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Hurst struggled with anxiety and depression throughout his time as a student athlete in baseball and football.

Now a Tight-End for the Atlanta Falcons, Hurst also travels throughout the nation sharing his story in hopes of helping others.

“The University of South Carolina gave Hayden a kick start into his new life in football and it’s a true honor to be able to give back to the young people in Lexington-Richland School District Five now," said Cathy Hurst, VP of the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation. I also have to thank Lou Kennedy - CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals for her generous donation. The money she provided the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation is helping fund the In Focus Social and Emotional Training Program for School District Five.”

Additional information about the curriculum is available on Lexington-Richland District Five’s website.

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