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

In the post-pandemic era, elementary students are struggling with belonging and lack critical SEL, mental health, and wellness supports. Teachers are also grappling with their own challenges, working with challenging schedules, and feeling overwhelmed. 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, was created to be a low-stress, ready-to-implement solution to help students connect. 

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. 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.

Watch: Building Belonging: The Power of Circles in Elementary Education

This 46 minute video gives an overview of the Circles curriculum and the theory and research behind it. Access the slides here.

Connect & Thrive: Story-Powered Circles is perfect for busy teachers who will enjoy how little preparation time is needed to roll out the program. 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:

  • The Dot

  • Playing by the Heart

  • Word Collector

  • Our Table

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