Grants to promote social and emotional learning in schools

Applications will be accepted through Oct. 15 for a second round of grants to promote social emotional learning in Mesa County School District 51.

Alpine Bank donated $50,000 to the School District 51 Foundation to fund the grants. The foundation will in turn award grants in various sizes to teachers, counselors and principals.

“Alpine Bank truly values education  in our local communities. More importantly, we want our kids and educators to be happy and healthy,” said Tyler Dahl, the regional president of Alpine Bank in Mesa County. “The last couple of school years have been really tough on students, teachers and families. We hope this grant will make an impact and offer a little additional support in the classroom.”

Social emotional learning is a process through which people — children and adults — acquire and apply knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve goals, develop relationships and make decisions. Social emotional learning can help students not only cope with stress, but also perform better academically.

A total of more than $25,000 in grants was awarded in May for the first round of grants. Local educators submitted more than 80 applications worth a total of more than $200,000.

“The outpouring of interest in these grants highlights both the dedication of our educators as well as the need and urgency for these kinds of programs in our community,” said Angela Christensen, executive director of the School District 51 Foundation.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity provided by Alpine Bank’s generous donation to help our educators receive the additional skills and tools to help students fill their cups,” Christensen said. “Our kids need us now more than ever.”