Pride Advisory Classes: Social and Emotional Support for Every Student (Transcript)
Teacher: How are you, sir? Good morning, good morning, sir. Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Sauder. Morning sir.
Student: I believe there is a correlation between bullying and stress. For example, when someone's being bullied, they might lose sleep because they're stressed about it.
Marcus: Absolutely. What are you willing to do to foster more of an anti bullying culture here at Urban Prep?
Teacher: Our hundred percent college acceptance rate is a direct result of our pride periods. We focus on building them character wise and building their social and emotional skills.
Marcus: It's really difficult to ask a young man to sit and focus in a biology class if they're hungry, if they're worried about where their mom is, if their worried about coming to and from school, and they have to cross gang lines. When they come to pride class, the idea is that this is a relaxing environment where they can talk about issues hat they're facing and also leave with skills every day to help them better navigate their situation in school and outside of school.
What we're going to do today, gentlemen, is actually go through a few activities so that we can know the difference between positive peer interaction and bullying.
Tim: Each of our students is placed when they're freshmen in a group that we call pride. We're Urban Prep lions and lions travel in prides, and so we have our students grouped according to prides, and they meet in their prides every day.
Student: It went on from freshman year to senior year, so it creates more of a connection, where these are like actually my brothers, people that I can lean on if I need something.
Student: We all had to apologize that we weren't trying to make him feel unwanted.
Marcus: Give yourselves a hand. Let's give it up for a while. Great job.
We have four pride leaders and so one pride leader represents each grade level. Essentially, we're kind of like a grade level counselor for them, the one person in the building that will remain consistent from freshman year until graduation, that will know about their familial situations, know about challenges that they've had academically.
Teacher: How has the environment that you have been in affected you?
Student: Where I used to live, people around me set a bad example, so I used to follow kind of and I didn't really work hard.
Teacher: So what does a positive environment look like to you?
Student: Positive people, because people really make up the environment actually. It's the way that people react to each other and treat each other, and show you respect.
Teacher: So, respect.
Marcus: So relationships are the cornerstone of pride. They young men are able to develop a bond with their brothers and their pride families, as well as with an adult in the building. All of the pride leaders have a background or a degree in the field of social work.
Student: Last year when I was having problems with my father, Mister Moore, he came to me, because he noticed that I had a problem.
Lionel: Pride leaders can provide them not just with an ear, but with a toolkit on how to deal with these things.
Marcus: We have a framework full of topics and ideas for our lesson plans for the week. Anything from safe sex practices, college preparedness and awareness, stress.
Explain one thing you learned about stress from this week's discussion. And remember, do not write your name on it.
I asked them, "What should do with stress?" and they said, "Get rid of it," and then they balled up the paper. So let's get rid of the stress.
We're able to have fun, laugh, be laughed, so that we can actually have that discussion about stress.
Everyone have a snowball?
Marcus: All right, so open them up and let's see what we've learned.
Student: It's fair to say, I have learned that stress affects how much you eat a day.
Student: Sometimes stress could give you some type of body.
Student: One thing I learned is that I should be able to feel good about myself in order to prevent stress. I believe that I haven't felt good about myself for such a long time, that I think that it is a problem for me.
Marcus: As social workers, we also are given the autonomy to address the specific needs of our students. If I had come in class today prepared to do an activity regarding stress, but there had been some community violence issues that arose last night, then that's what we would focus on for that class period.
Gregory: Many of you all know that I had a brother that passed in February, due to gun violence. I had to make a decision. Do I make this anger constructive or destructive?
By facing these issues that many of them try to suppress, w bring them face to face with them so that can talk about ways to deal with these type of things.
Deveon: Constructive anger seems like it would mean, I'm so angry that this violence is going on, so I'm going to go out here and stop it. It puts a passion to your heart, to the point where you don't want to quit. But destructive anger makes you feel like, "I don't care.
Going to pride every day does something for me that no academic class could do. It's like a second home to come and be able to talk about anything, so I don't have to hold things in all day long.
Gregory: What is something that angers you all about society?
Student: You can't be judged on who you are or your character. People just judge you off of your race, your gender, the community you live in.
Student: When a person tries to change their gender, they're treated like a monster, that's my thing.
Deveon: If I get angry, I can just think of pride class and Mister Sashington's words, and it may calm me down.
Lionel: If we really care about academic development, we have to care about social and emotional development. You can't have one without the other. Our students, through our pride program and through the fact that we provide them with those non-cog skill development, they're able to apply to college and be accepted, and then once they get there, they persist.
Student: There's no limits to how many things you could do if somebody is believing in you.
Teacher: Thank you. So when you have that support system, right?