Yale Announces Grant from Tauck Family Foundation

December 27, 2013

Funding Supports Collaboration between Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, and Bridgeport Public Schools to Implement RULER

Program Supports Life Skills, Social and Emotional Learning, and School Climate Outcomes

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, in partnership with the Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, announced that it received a multi-year grant from the Tauck Family Foundation to partner with the Bridgeport Public School System in implementing RULER, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning. This new collaboration is designed to help Bridgeport, Connecticut schools integrate RULER and develop a sustainable framework for the evaluation and performance management of essential life skills, social and emotional learning, and school climate outcomes.

Working with research faculty in the School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and with staff at a public elementary school serving students in grades K-8, in Bridgeport, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence will implement RULER programming, which is based on the notion that when students can recognize, understand, and regulate their emotions effectively, they can persevere and succeed. The investment from the Tauck Family Foundation, which includes both multi-year general operating and capacity-building support, will also support the creation and implementation of a performance management tracking system that will allow teachers and administrators to collect and use data from students and teachers to evaluate the impacts of RULER as well as academic progress. The data collected from this model school will serve as the baseline measurement for future evaluation of student outcomes including life skills and social and emotional skills, as well as school climate outcomes.

Supported by the leadership of the Bridgeport Public Schools, the Yale partnership will support a three-phase implementation plan for RULER, beginning with the first school adopting the approach and later serving as a model for the school district. The second phase will help a number of additional designated schools adopt RULER, and the third phase will involve integration of RULER with the entire district’s overall teacher training system.

“We bring RULER to schools because we know that emotionally intelligent learning environments are foundational to children leading productive, healthy, and fulfilling lives,” states Susan Rivers, Ph.D., deputy director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. “Our approach fits the Tauck Family Foundation’s mission to invest in the development of essential life skills leading to better prospects for Bridgeport children. In addition it supports the mission of the Bridgeport Public Schools and its supporting community to graduate all students ‘college ready’ and prepared to succeed in life.”

Mike Strambler, associate research scientist in Psychiatry added, “We will be creating a system for teachers and administrators to collect and access data about their students’ social and emotional skills designed to help guide their decision making for teaching. The development of social and emotional skills is an important aspect of students’ well-being and academic success, and our aim is to study this process and provide a useful and user-friendly system to support teachers’ efforts.”

Eden Werring, executive director of the Tauck Family Foundation stated, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in the talented team at Yale to bring evidence-based practices around social and emotional learning to elementary school children in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Our theory of change is to invest in organizations and build their organizational capacity to drive towards better outcomes–including self-control, persistence, mastery orientation, and academic self-efficacy–for the children with whom they work. We are very excited by the potential that this partnership has to help Bridgeport’s students develop the skills necessary to take control of their futures, succeed in their educations, break the cycle of poverty, and reach their full potential.”

The partnership between the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence began working with Bridgeport administrators in June, and has selected the Wilbur Cross School as its pilot school in Bridgeport. Teachers have begun to participate in RULER training this and will start to adopt RULER in their classrooms in the 2013-2014 school year.

About the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence & RULER
The purpose of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is to better understand how emotions matter in the lives of individuals and institutions. RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER helps educators and students develop emotional intelligence so they can make sound decisions, foster healthy relationships, and achieve desired academic outcomes.

RULER applies “hard science” to the teaching of what have historically been called “soft skills.” RULER teaches the skills of emotional intelligence – those associated with recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion. Decades of research show that these “RULER” skills are essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond.

About the Yale Department of Psychiatry
The Yale Department of Psychiatry is dedicated to providing the highest quality education in the field of Psychiatry; to providing leaders and leadership for the field; acquiring and disseminating new scientific knowledge pertinent to the causes and treatments of severe neuropsychiatric disorders and to serving as a model of exemplary mental health care for students and society. For more information, visit the Yale Department of Psychiatry’s website.

About the Tauck Family Foundation
TauckThe Tauck Family Foundation, founded in 1994, is a private, multigenerational family foundation that invests in the development of essential life skills that lead to better prospects for children from low-income families in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Foundation’s theory of change is to invest over time in strengthening the organizational capacity of its non-profit investees so that they can, in turn, help Bridgeport elementary school children from low-income families cultivate the essential life skills to succeed educationally in middle school and ultimately escape the cycle of poverty. For more information, visit the Tauck Family Foundation Website.

Press Contact
Miriam Schroers: 203-747-0945 | miriam.schroers@yale.edu