Back to School Grant, Becoming a S.T.A.R., Ms. Brandi Smith


S.T.A.R stands for “Smile, Take a deep breath. And Relax”. It is a self-regulation skill that is essential for students to create a safe, effective, learning environment. Ms. Brandi Smith from Shady Dell Childhood Center wanted to do just that by providing the tools necessary for students to learn with Conscious Discipline. In order to do so, Ms. Smith requested funds to purchase self-regulation tools for the classroom.

“The first goal or objective of having a safe space in the classroom is to provide students with a place within our classroom that they can go to when they are having what we call big feelings whether they are angry, sad, frustrated, anxious, etc. My second objective is to rewrite students’ inner speech, equipping them with healthy inner speech so they don’t have to use their hands. Ultimately, the goal is for children to create a safe place within themselves so they can effectively manage thoughts and feelings with healthy self-regulatory speech.” said Ms. Smith.

At the end of the school year, Ms. Smith was able to report on the outcome of her grant. “My students LOVED the new safe place! They loved having feeling buddies to cuddle and talk to when they were having big feelings. Students have made gains in their social-emotional development. They can identify a wider range of feelings in themselves and other people. They have become more empathetic to peers having big feelings and are able to better recognize the feelings in themselves and use the self-regulation techniques to calm down on their own. They even help peers us it at times.”

“This grant has, without a doubt, been a success. I am so thankful to have the feeling buddies and new, comfy and more inviting safe place in my classroom.”

Project Details:

Category: Classroom Project

Funded Amount: $455