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Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles for Elementary Student Success

In the post-pandemic era, teachers tell us that their elementary students are struggling with being part of a learning community - and lacking critical SEL, mental health and wellness supports. Teachers are also grappling with their own challenges - recovering from pandemic stresses, working with challenging schedules, and feeling overwhelmed.

But, the good news is that schools now have a low-stress, ready-to-implement solution to help their students - Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles for Elementary Student Success, designed in collaboration between the SEL & mental health experts at PEAR and and FableVision/Reynolds TLC.

Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles offers a unique blend of the PEAR approach to student advisories - also known as “circles” - and the globally-acclaimed storybooks by #1 New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Peter’s books are paired with key student development areas, such as resilience, mental health, belonging, and youth voice, all of which play a critical role in overcoming, growing and thriving through adversity.

Incubated at McLean Hospital and Harvard, PEAR has been at the forefront of researching the development of resilience in educational settings with expertise around the challenges educators and youth face today - and is already providing implementations of its wellness advisories for high school students.

Now elementary educators can enjoy this same framework, but custom-tailored for earlier grades levels. To that end, the Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles program has been carefully designed to:

  • Be easy to implement

  • Deliver research-based support

  • Engage young students

Anchored in PEAR’s Clover Model of youth development, the program provides hands-on extension activities to support your school’s SEL framework. The Clover Model - also known as a Developmental Process Theory (DPT) - supports four domains of development: active engagement, assertiveness, belonging, and reflection. Essentially, the Clover Model helps us consider the impact of physical, cognitive, and social development on the ways young people learn, behave, and interact with others, and how to align with their natural development to help build the social-emotional competencies they need to thrive.

Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles makes delivering these critical components of human development easy, seamless and fun.

Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles is perfect for busy teachers who will enjoy how little preparation time is needed to roll out the program. And students will find these Story-Powered Circles engaging as they integrate the award-winning picture books of New York Times #1 best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

Currently, the Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles program offers fifteen days of activities using the books of Peter H. Reynolds:

  • So Few of Me

  • Playing by the Heart

  • Word Collector

  • Our Table

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