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Brentwood SELebrates Positive Mental Health

Brentwood SELebrates Positive Mental Health

Posted on 10/07/2020

Brentwood, New York (October 2020)—Aligned with this year’s motto, building a better world one student at a time, the Brentwood Union Free School District (BUFSD) is placing a large emphasis on addressing the social and emotional needs of students, enhancing self-love and boosting self-esteem for students across the district. Beginning as early as the elementary level, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) plays a formative role in shaping a student’s self-esteem and confidence. Brentwood’s teachers recently developed focal points for classroom activities and exercises surrounding topics such as belonging, curiosity, friendship, kindness, confidence, courage and hope.


“Over the last several years the district has refined curriculum to focus more on enhancing student success in school, careers, and life through the short-term and long-term benefits of social and emotional learning,” said Mr. Richard Loeschner, Superintendent of Schools. “We commend our teachers for their innovation to develop creative and effective instruction that enhances the positive mental health of our students. It’s fascinating to witness teachers, and substitutes alike, integrate new SEL practices in their daily instruction to provide students an opportunity to apply these skills in various situations.”


The district’s elementary art teachers utilize various SEL-related mentor texts, written pieces used as an example of good writing for student writers, to supplement classroom exercises in support of the Seven Strength Model. This method provides Brentwood’s students with a model to emulate while creating an original piece to express their creativity through their art, adding colors and details to describe their feelings. 


Mrs. Dennehy, a substitute at NE Elementary School, developed a lesson that taught students how to love themselves using art skills alongside a mentor text, I’m Gonna Like Me, by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell. Her students began with the prompt "I'm gonna like me when..." and completed the sentence alongside their creative drawings.


For more information about the Brentwood Union Free School District, please visit the district's website at and 'like' our Facebook page: @BrentwoodUnionFreeSchoolDistrict.