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Partnering with Educators and Administrators

Fostering a Caring Culture in Education

The staff at West Shore Educational School District in Ludington, MI, discuss their experiences with the Chapman Foundation work and how it has transformed their relationships within their organization. They emphasize the importance of building connections and creating a culture that supports effective work. The Chapman Foundation classes provide a clear and tangible framework for personal and professional growth.


Teachers have a significant impact on student academic and social-emotional outcomes.  The Our Community Listens (OCL) experience provides educators and youth support systems with the social-emotional skills to model the behaviors that they want to develop in youth. OCL is not another curriculum to implement, it is the relational way educators show up in the classroom. This training provides a common language and framework to guide the learning, education, and modeling of social-emotional skills.

Our Community Listens (OCL) teaches key behaviors, skills, and beliefs that positively benefit students by creating a sense of belonging, exhibiting empathy, building positive relationships, and amplifying student voice when included in a teacher’s classroom practices. 


The OCL experience takes a holistic approach to supporting youth. The program is designed for educators, administrators, parents, coaches, mentors, and beyond.

The Instructional Design

All our classes follow a distinctive and motivational instructional design of 1. Enlightenment: gaining personal insights and awareness, 2. Equipping: providing practical tools that can be implemented immediately, and 3. Empowerment: the practical application and ways to sustain the new skills.

Alignment with SEL Framework

The image below illustrates the alignment of the core skills in our OCL curriculum with CASEL’s (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) Social Emotional Learning Framework. 

The SEL framework helps cultivate skills and environments that advance students’ learning and development.

But don’t take our word for it, see what these participants had to say.

“I believe that many of the concepts presented and discussed in Our Community Listens classes are intuitive to most educators. But participation in a class gives clarity, depth, and definition to these ideas. Their skill sets will be significantly enhanced to better communicate with students, parents, peers, and community members. The OCL learning experience should be part of every educator’s professional development plan.”

– Mike Winczewski
Retired High School Teacher, Coach, and Middle School Principal, OCL facilitator (MI)

“I learned a lot during Our Community Listens and I also strengthened relationships. This class brought me a lot of insight and joy and I highly recommend this course to others in my department and other organizations.”

– Hannah
Educator, Boulder, CO