Introducing: The Social Institute & #WinAtSocial
April 13, 2022
Imagine growing up in a world where technology is embedded in every aspect of your life. Students today have never known a world without this influence. They are bombarded by messages within social media, challenged by internet usage, and forced to navigate this new frontier, largely on their own.
Aspen Country Day School wants to help children — and their families — manage these challenges. We have partnered with The Social Institute to provide a thoughtful program that takes a new approach: rather than focus on negative consequences of tech-based socializing, help kids make positive, high-character choices in their lives online.
When we began investigating possibilities, we were impressed with The Social Institute‘s approach, which empowers students to navigate their social world — social media and technology — to fuel their health, happiness, and future success. By reinforcing character strengths like empathy, integrity, and teamwork and by showcasing their role models (from student leaders to U.S. Olympians), The Social Institute uses a relevant, positive approach to inspire students.
Starting next year, children in Fourth through Eighth Grades begin to use the “#WinAtSocial” program, an interactive learning platform that students at other independent schools nationwide have described as fun, engaging, and thought-provoking.
Laura Tierney, a four-time Duke All-American, previously worked in social media for businesses such as Disney, Nike, and Proctor & Gamble. Her organization, The Social Institute, is the design team behind #WinAtSocial. Their aim is to develop students’ critical capacities and strengthen their social and emotional skill set. The program involves students in debates and asks them to articulate their own values and align their use technology with those values — to be mindful.
Rather than taking a “scared straight” approach in which adults warn of the perils of social media, #WinAtSocial presents a more balanced picture, encouraging students to think about issues such as online privacy and how they might use their online presence to uplift one another, and encouraging them to reflect on their core values and align their online behaviors with those same values. We are excited to launch this program as one part of our continuing commitment to social-emotional learning at Aspen Country Day School.
About The Social Institute
The Social Institute explains: We partner with schools nationwide to empower students, families, and educators to positively navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology. With solutions for students, parents, and educators, we offer a systemic and comprehensive student well-being program through a positive approach. We are proud to serve public and independent partners such as Ravenscroft School, Woodward Academy, Oldfields School, All Saints Episcopal School, Lake Forest School District, Boston Public Schools, and more.