Union City’s Jose Marti STEM Academy 1 of 15 NJ Schools Awarded CASEL Grant For Teacher Training

Congratulations go out to the Jose Marti STEM Academy in Union City, which announced this afternoon, it has been awarded a grant of $1,500, 1 of only 15 New Jersey schools to receive the grant from SEL4NJ, which is funded by the New York Jets.

According to Jose Marti STEM Academy Prinicipal Rudy Baez, who spoke with Hudson TV, the funds will be used to have several teachers, likely five to seven, attend virtual workshops provided by CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. The workshop series will help build a plan for systemic SEL implementation using the research and resources CASEL has curated over the years.  The school does not have a formal SEL program, but taking the time to develop and implement a plan to match the school community will benefit everyone involved, especially considering the difficulties students have had to face the past two years as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Jose Marti STEM Academy has had a relationship with the Jets organizations for several years, where members of the team and organization come to the school to discuss bullying and ways to avoid it.  By attending the workshops, Baez says, not only will teachers learn strategies to promote SEL for students, they will also learn how to strengthen adult SEL competencies. The series of meetings provides time for application of concepts learned and the ability to get feedback from CASEL experts on our implementation plan.

The announcement made on Facebook, went on to say, “receiving this grant would not have been possible without the amazing work done by Ms. Amanda Smith and Ms. Jessica Ceballos. The passion they both brought to the table was essential in creating a proposal that ultimately was selected to receive the grant. Due to their dedication, we will be better equipped to address the SEL needs of our school community moving forward.”