Surprise visit promotes SEL
Posted on 09/23/2021
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Southwest Middle School and Summerlake Elementary School received a star-studded surprise today.

 Actor and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein, well known for voicing the role of Ahsoka Tano in the Star Wars franchise, visited the campuses with representatives from Big Lots and On Our Sleeves’ One Million Classrooms Project. This Back to School surprise gifted the schools with $1,000 in gift cards to Big Lots and an evidence-infused social and emotional learning curriculum the schools can use with their students throughout the year. 

 “I voice an iconic hero in the Star Wars Universe, but I believe teachers are real life heroes and they need more mental health resources as they help their students navigate these unprecedented times. I’m thrilled to be a champion for On Our Sleeves and to have this opportunity to surprise my hometown schools with these funds to fuel mental health and mindfulness resources for teachers and students,” said Eckstein. “Thank you to On Our Sleeves, Big Lots and all the supporters of the One Million Classrooms Project for reaching out to so many classrooms to help break the stigma around childhood mental health.”

 Orange County Public Schools is committed to nurturing SEL activities and is excited about Eckstein’s commitment to mental health, especially within adolescents. Students social and emotional well-being is part of the district’s 2025 Strategic Plan.

 Teachers from Southwest MS and Summerlake ES’ SEL Teams will be recognized in a special mental health awareness campaign running in Times Square the week of Oct. 3.

 On Our Sleevesis the national child mental health movement with a mission to provide every community in America with free resources necessary for breaking child mental health stigmas and educating families and advocates, because no child or family should struggle alone. 

Contact our offices ([email protected]) for access to video download that includes b-roll and soundbites from:

Raymond “Chuck” Yockel, Southwest MS principal

Ashley Eckstein, Actor or Entrepreneur (plus, she’s a Southwest MS alumnus)