For Educators

For Educators

Evidence-Based SEL

SEL (social and emotional learning) helps to develop healthy personal identities, manage emotions as well as form and maintain supportive relationships with others. Our award-winning 8-Week Program fits easily into a school semester to augment an academic curriculum such as English or History. It is also utilized my many schools as a community service opportunity. In 2017, the University of Southern California conducted a professional impact evaluation of our program through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. This evaluation provided an evidence-based framework for our model with the number one outcome being “a greater sense of purpose” for our student participants.

HIGH SCHOOL

Teen mental well-being is at a 12-year low, with more depression, anxiety and hospital visits. The pandemic has only exacerbated this issue causing learning loss and more anxiety. Our programs give students the opportunity to share questions and concerns about their lives, as well as their feelings, with a non- judgmental older adult while engaging in authentic conversation, a lost art today.


Program Benefits

The benefits of our program include both academic and social-emotional skill building.

  • Strengthen social-emotional intelligence – respect and empathy
  • Acquire interviewing, listening, writing, public speaking skills
  • Participate in a novel experiential learning curriculum
  • Diminish marginalizing stereotypes about both young and old
  • Gain a more personal historical perspective
  • Form meaningful relationships free from invasive technologies
  • Internalize a sense of connection with the community
  • Feel encouraged to ask questions and develop interest in others
  • Receive support from a non-judgmental mentoring relationship
  • Develop an awareness of age-related discrimination

Your School

Both our In-Person and Online programming are available to your school. Email info@sagesandseekers.org for more information or to speak with our Program Director.


Educators Speak

Listen to what High School Teachers and University Professors have to say about utilizing our programs in their academic curriculum, and the profound benefits to their students.  EDUCATORS SPEAK.


Participants Speak

Our participants share their experience and feelings about the impact of our programs and the resulting benefits of authentic conversation with another generation.

  PARTICIPANTS SPEAK.

UNIVERSITIES

Since the advent of the smartphone, obsessions with texting and social media are sounding a death knell for real conversation. Conversation is a skill that must be learned, so those most at risk for failing to learn how to have an authentic conversation are those who grew up with a smartphone. Conversation is the most human activity we do. It is the cornerstone for empathy. If our young adults do not know how long to hold eye contact, or how to sustain a face-to-face conversation, how will they fare in the world?


Program Benefits

The benefits of our program include both academic and social-emotional skill building.

  • Strengthen social-emotional intelligence – respect and empathy
  • Acquire interviewing, listening, writing, public speaking skills
  • Participate in a novel experiential learning curriculum
  • Diminish marginalizing stereotypes about both young and old
  • Gain a more personal historical perspective
  • Form meaningful relationships free from invasive technologies
  • Internalize a sense of connection with the community
  • Feel encouraged to ask questions and develop interest in others
  • Receive support from a non-judgmental mentoring relationship
  • Develop an awareness of age-related discrimination

8-Week Programs

Both our In-Person and Online programming are available to your school. Email info@sagesandseekers.org for more information or to speak with our Program Director.


Aging Uncut: A Social Emotional LAB

Our university level Aging Lab is designed for gerontology, psychology, pre-med and med students. This online (zoom) lab offers the opportunity for a more authentic and intimate look into aging issues that affect the social-emotional aspect of older adults. Some topics addressed are the impact of retirement, housing issues, losing a spouse, ageism from medical professionals and other life changes.


Educators Speak

Listen to what High School Teachers and University Professors have to say about utilizing our programs in their academic curriculum, and the profound benefits to their students. EDUCATORS SPEAK.


Participants Speak

Our participants share their experience and feelings about the impact of our programs and the resulting benefits of authentic conversation with another generation.
PARTICIPANTS SPEAK.

IMPACT

Our award-winning evidence based program has been studied twice by University of Southern California professor Dr. Mary Helen Immordino Yang. The first study was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2017. The second study in 2019, was funded by the Templeton Foundation. Dr. Immodoro-Yang.

Quantitative findings showed increases in:

  • purpose-in-life
  • interest in civic engagement
  • social-emotional skills
  • reflection on core values
  • higher well-being

Participants also reported feeling more grateful and hopeful after the intervention.

“Neuroscience is revealing how brain development is shaped by social relationships. Adolescence is a critical period of socially-facilitated brain development and learning, as well as an emotionally vulnerable period for many youths. Though supporting social- emotional learning (SEL) in elementary schools is relatively straightforward, it has proven much more difficult to create effective interventions for adolescents, who are struggling to invent their desired adult selves. Programs that help young people to figure out who they are, what matters to them, and why, such as Sages and Seekers, can provide incredibly powerful learning experiences to adolescents. The activities inspire genuine reflection and growth because they happen via structured, supportive, and very special friendships with an elder.”
~ Dr. Mary Helen Immordino Yang, Principal Investigator

National Endowment for the Arts

Results of this one-year study showed that Sages & Seekers intergenerational storytelling intervention increased adolescents’ reported sense of social connectedness, psychological wellbeing, and purpose-in- life, and especially so for participants with the lowest initial levels. Moreover, adolescents’ changing abilities to conceptualize their future goals in terms of ethical and relational values, instead of hedonistic or pragmatic motives, mediated the increases in reported purpose-in-life. Older adult participants showed increased generativity and working memory performance.

USC STUDY RESULTS


Templeton Foundation

The overarching empirical aims of this project were to investigate the developmental trajectories of youths’ meaning-making across the intervention, and to probe the effects of meaning-making on changes in virtues, purpose, spirituality, civic participation and stress regulation. Participants reported self-transcendent purpose scores, wisdom scores, hope and gratitude scores increased from pre- to post- intervention.

For more information contact our Executive Director, Elly Katz: ekatz@sagesandseekers.org.

LICENSE

Our award-winning 8-Week Program Manual & Training is available to license for your community use. A one-time fee allows you to produce our evidence-based SEL program as many times as needed for years to come. We have licensed our 8-Week Program to schools, universities, senior facilities and libraries across the country. Our detailed manual takes you step-by-step from recruiting the participants, facilitating the 8-week program, and managing any dropout or enrollment problems.

NOTE: We are moving our Manual & Training to an online platform for easier access. Let us know if you are interested in more information, pricing and availability, and we will contact you when we have transitioned to our new online platform.

Contact info@sagesandseekers.org.

FAQ

Sages & Seekers Programs are designed specifically to address the teen brain and development. This is best described by Dr. David Yeager: “Typical SEL programs, which directly teach adolescents skills and invite them to rehearse those skills over the course of many classroom lessons, have a very poor track record with middle adolescents—roughly age 14 to 17. Programs for adolescents are sometimes simply aged-up versions of childhood programs— for instance, they communicate the same message, but now the character doing the talking has a skateboard and a chain wallet. Such programs often fail to capture adolescents’ attention, both in what they say and how they say it. The evidence is clear: we can’t rely on an elementary-level, classroom- based, social-skill-training program revamped for middle adolescents.” David S. Yeager, “Social-Emotional Learning Programs for Adolescents.”

Sages & Seekers Programs are designed to fit easily into a school semester. Many schools utilize our programs in their academic curriculum: English, History or Humanities. We also offer 10 hours of community service credit to students who enroll and complete all aspects of the program.

  • Ability to offer a novel experiential learning curriculum that improves verbal and written communication skills
  • Offers 21st Century skills needed for success in the future
  • Encourages nonjudgmental interaction among students by defying preconceived notions about the elderly, henceothers
  • Generates curiosity about the way society frames many conceptualizations and encourages a critical view of the worldin which we live
  • Reinforces the importance of interpersonal communication by providing students with an environment free ofintrusive technologies
  • Innovative approach to learning that excites students and grabs their attention
  • Instills fundamental skills, such as respect and empathy, that cannot be taught in a classroom – improving studentrelations
  • By spending time with a largely underappreciated group, students gain a sense off efficacy that bolsters self esteem
  • Strengthens your campus (helping students develop zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity)
Does Sages & Seekers address the mental health issue in teens today? A meta-analysis of 213 K-12 schools nationwide has revealed that students from schools with dedicated SEL programs demonstrate significantly improved emotional awareness, healthier relationships, and stronger academic performance— and show significantly lower rates of anxiety, behavioral problems, and substance abuse. READ MORE.

Eight years ago we did extensive research that led us to an understanding of the profound impact technology was having on our ability to maintain and sustain distraction free conversations with each other. Today, the negative impact of social media and other uses of technology is no secret. Society as a whole has entered new and uncharted waters due to the rapid proliferation of the smartphone, and our ability to truly connect with each other is at risk. Our programs offer an antidote to this disconnection. Essential life skills such as the ability to maintain eye contact and read facial cues are best taught through experience, such as the one Sages & Seekers provides. For a generation that sleeps with their phones, the need to balance constant peer-to-peer influence, and expand one’s life conversation with a member of an older generation, cannot be underestimated.

Our online programs can be accessed by any school in the United States, as well as those within a time zone fitting our scheduled online programs. Schools can license our signature 8-Week Program Manual, along with training, and produce our in-person program on your own campus or at a nearby senior facility. For more information, please contact our Program Manager: marcus@sagesandseekers.org