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Lake Hood Elementary Summer Program Focuses on SEL

Lake Hood SEL summer program

 Lake Hood Elementary School Assistant Principal Brenda Edwards takes a selfie at Lake Hood with students Christian and Jack, Principal Aimee Kahler, School Counselor Brenda Hower, students Torrin, Corinthia, Ivy, and Thea, along with School Resource Officer Matt Fraize, and incoming Assistant Principal Chelsea Garney.


After two years of learning during a pandemic, Lake Hood Elementary School principal Aimee Kahler and her staff decided to retool their summer program for students to focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL).


SEL involves teaching and facilitating skills that students and adults need to be successful at home, at school, in the workplace, and in life.


Activities such as rock climbing, bike riding, community member visits, and cooking infused the SEL Standards of:  

Self Awareness- I AM 

Self Management- I CAN 

Social Awareness- I CARE 

Social Manager- I WILL 


Corinthia, a Lake Hood Elementary student, climbs the wall at the Alaska Rock Gym. 

“I believe that SEL must be taught to our students just like academics,” said Lake Hood Elementary School Principal Aimee Kahler.  “Our team worked together to develop a SEL camp focusing on providing students with a safe, nurturing leaning environment in which they felt safe to take risks and learn more about themselves.”


The camp was offered for a total of 11 days in June, welcoming 25 students during two sessions.


Lake Hood Assistant Principal Brenda Edwards said the program was made available to a group of students who were not already enrolled in a traditional ASD academic-focused summer learning program and were referred by their teacher or another staff member. Participating students ranged in grade from first to sixth. Title 1 funds were used to make the program possible.

Lake Hood SEL activity

Left to right: Lake Hood Elementary students Roan, Jack, and Torrin, make pizza along with School Counselor Brenda Hower.


“Students worked with staff and peers to…achieve goals proven by our pre and post self-rubric data,” said Edwards. “We experienced so many precious moments of raw emotion, perseverance and grit.”

From riding public transportation together, to learning to communicate with each other through sign language, students worked with each other to learn new skills.


“Our students were able to persevere through many challenges, learning more about their emotions, responsibility, communication, and our community,” Kahler said. “Students ran into school with smiles on excited to learn and apply their skills.”