Why Elementary?

The work of prevention is not done solely through focusing on risk factors, warning signs, and intervention, but rather involves discovering, teaching and celebrating resilience, help-seeking, connection, strength, and belonging.

At Sources of Strength our vision is to empower a well world.

We have heard from our partners across the country about the need for a quality strength-based prevention curriculum at the elementary level. Much of what exists in this space includes solid Social Emotional Learning content but an inadequate focus on mental health or proactive prevention for things like bullying, substance abuse, violence, and suicide.

Our elementary model continues our commitment to moving further upstream, increasing health and wellness, and decreasing negative downstream outcomes through empowering individuals and communities full of connection, belonging and resilience.

Curriculum Components

It is a driving principle of Sources of Strength to incorporate student voice and active engagement with our teaching practices. We believe that the deepest learning occurs when we approach the subject matter from a positive mindset and bring awareness to our strengths, while also incorporating interactive learning components. This helps people of all ages fully internalize and apply the concepts to their own lives. Each unit includes the following core elements:

  • Active learning components including art, stories, games, activities, etc. that engage different learning centers of the brain for optimal application and growth.
  • Talking Circles facilitate a collaborative sharing time that fosters connection and empathy, empowers student voice, and promotes equity.
  • Guided reflection exercises include breathing, sensory, and mindfulness activities that support self-regulation and self-awareness.
  • Celebrations of growth that highlight students’ strength and skill development applying a growth mindset.

Social Emotional Learning Focus

This curriculum integrates well with many of the practices and programs that schools are already using, such as Restorative Practices, Mindfulness, PBIS, etc. The “SEL Focus” section of each unit aligns with the core social-emotional learning competencies in the model developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), used by many districts and schools nation-wide.

Curriculum Structure

The curriculum is comprised of 12 units containing several lessons that build upon the unit topic. The lessons can be implemented within grades three through five. This is not a separate curriculum for each grade but rather one curriculum that can be implemented in all three grade levels. Lessons are designed to be approximately 30 minutes in length and typically facilitated one to two times per week.

See a break down of the units here.

Coaches Training

Our elementary model is a universal, classroom-based curriculum, able to be led and implemented by:

  • Classroom teacher
  • Social emotional learning specialist
  • School mental health professional
  • Classroom paraprofessional

We believe that to have maximum impact with students, we need adults who are engaging with and modeling strengths and wellness in their own lives. We are just as focused on supporting and empowering adults as we are with students.

To facilitate effective and sustainable implementation, the model includes a two-day Coaches Training to create district and building level buy-in. This training develops fluency in the content and capacity to coach and support classroom instructors.


Interested in learning more? Please fill out this survey to get the conversation started: Interest Survey



Education does not change the world.
Education changes people.
People change the world.

Paulo Freire

Click on the link below for our list of frequently asked questions related to the curriculum.