Aprille McMillan was recently invited to be part of a panel presentation at the Sanford Harmony “Power of Engagement Summit” in February to share ESD 112’s experiences implementing the Harmony Curriculum.

Sanford Harmony (SH) is a free, nationally available SEL curriculum that was recently adopted by early learning centers (ELCs) and a few private elementary schools across the ESD 112 region. The intent of the curriculum is to teach children from a young age how to understand and manage personal emotions, how to be empathetic toward others, and how to develop and sustain meaningful and positive peer relationships.

While it is typically a K-6th grade program, Aprille wanted to bring this opportunity into early learning programs to enhance their social/emotional skills before entering the k-12 school system.

“Social emotional learning is a passion of mine,” said Aprille. “The Harmony curriculum focuses on diversity and inclusion, making sure kids recognize differences between people and play. I hoped it would be flexible for early learning to assist teachers in promoting social skills and to reduce bias and bullying,” she explained.

Turns out, it was. Aprille served on the panel at the summit to explain how we have integrated the Sanford Harmony curriculum successfully in our early learning community. “It was a great experience to share how it has worked for us,” said Aprille. “I was able to give an overview of the activities, engagement with other programs, and even what it was like during COVID.”

Congratulations to Aprille for representing ESD 112 on a national level and for being instrumental in bringing the Harmony Curriculum to our earliest learners. Aprille has been with ESD 112 for seven years and currently serves as an Early Learning Childhood Coordinator.