Cottonwood-Oak Creek captures kids hearts

Jessica Vocca

Jessica Vocca

COTTONWOOD -- Educating children means not only academics but also nurturing the whole child, says Jessica Vocca, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District's culture specialist.

"We know that when a child feels safe and accepted inside the classroom the benefits will not only affect their academics, but all aspects of their life, which includes relationships with their peers," Vocca says. "We see this as a very special process to reach all children no matter what circumstances they come from in their personal life.

A group of teachers from Cottonwood Elementary School, Cottonwood Middle School and Dr Daniel Bright Elementary School recently began looking into ways to motivate children through both their social and their emotional intelligence.

On March 22, Vocca updated the COCSD board on the components and expectations of Capturing Kids Hearts, a program that incorporates the direction and the vision of the three schools, as well as Oak Creek School.

Capturing Kids Hearts recognizes a common language, expectations, procedures, tools, direction and culture and is done through enhancing protective factors - the strong bonds with teachers, clear rules of conduct that are consistently enforced, and by targeting modifiable risk factors, such as inappropriate behavior, poor social coping skills.

- Bill Helm

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