Social and Emotional Wellness NOLA (SEW NOLA)

The Project

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina punctuated by elevated levels of community violence, continue to place New Orleans minority youth of low socio-economic status as a particularly vulnerable sup-population to psychological distress and poor academic functioning. There has been a growing body of research that suggests that school based social and emotional development programs can impact both academic achievement and health outcomes for low-income minority youth.  In an attempt to respond to the elevated need for such programming in the City Of New Orleans, Navigate Nola is expanding The Navigate Her Leadership Institute’s target population to work with a younger age demographic through Navigate Nola’s SEW NOLA program.

In the city of New Orleans, where African-American youth are disproportionately impacted by disparities in education and health, the SEW NOLA project consists of implementation of a social and emotional development program for pre-k - 6th grade students at two public elementary schools, located in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans.

The Intervention

SEW NOLA (Social and Emotional Wellness NOLA), funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is a 7 month long social and emotional development program for pre-K (4) – 6th grade students. The intervention is implemented in the school setting, in 1 hour time increments, including a 10 minute warm up activity.

The essential components of the intervention are as follows: relaxation techniques and meditation, emotional regulation, and social facility (the way individuals manage relationships, interact and show caring). SEW NOLA utilizes the psychosocial stage of development of the target population as the framework for cultivating social and emotional intelligence.

SEW NOLA weekly session interventions utilize the peer group as a source of encouragement to reinforce the social and emotional developmental skills being cultivated. Each session will build on the previous session. We utilize movement, art, images and creativity, role plays and engaging activities to sustain the interest of the participants. School leaders receive weekly reports of the goals for the week and the interventions that will take place to accomplish session objectives.

Our Impact

 Since 2015, we have provided social and emotional wellness service to nearly 500 school aged children. In our 2016/2017 programming year, teachers reported improvements greater than 50% in all of our targeted outcome categories (emotional regulation, focus, empathy and attention). 

  • 66% in emotional regulation
  • 70% in focus
  • 54% in empathy,
  • 64% in attention

In our 2016/2017 programming year, the average growth in each outcome area was as follows:

  • emotional regulation 86% growth
  • focus 85% growth
  • empathy 41% growth
  • attention 75% growth

Participating Schools

  • Crocker College Prep 2016/2017 & 2017/2018 academic years 
  • Sylvanie Williams 2016/2017 academic year 
  • Noble Minds Institute for Whole Child Learning 2017/2017 academic year