The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2020, during the first six months of a global pandemic, the number of elementary-aged children seeking emergency services due to a mental health crisis increased 24 percent compared to the same time a year prior. Health experts had already labeled childhood anxiety a “crisis,” but the COVID-19 pandemic elevated it to emergency status. Whether this alarming increase in anxiety is caused by school stress, social media, or scary world events, it is clear that today’s children need tools to manage emotions, develop healthy identities, empathize with peers, and pursue individual goals.
The books in this text set provide simple yet effective routines elementary-aged students can use to recognize their feelings, as well as relatable characters who work towards solutions for stress. Teachers can choose one or any combination of books and strategies to use with whole-class instruction, reading circles, or independent reading as they work to build a supportive, inclusive environment where emotions matter.
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