Helping Children Understand Emotions with Guests Karla Lopez, Instructional Specialist, School Coordinator and Author; and Dana Blannon, School Administrative Assistant and Author; and Musical Guest, Singer/Songwriter and National Touring Artist, El Rob on The LIFE CHANGES Show
GUESTS: KARLA LOPEZ and DANA BLANNON and MUSICAL GUEST: EL ROB
Karla Lopez, Instructional Specialist & School Coordinator at Wonderland Ave. Elementary school in Los Angeles California. It is there where her passion for supporting the social-emotional needs of students became a focus in her career. Her work with students, parents, and teachers through the Way of Council program in schools increased and as part of the Way of Council Leadership Committee Mrs. Lopez worked with the community to develop the “Peace Talk Protocol”, Peaceful Warrior Assemblies, Wisdom Councils, Social-Emotional Curriculum for the classroom, she also started a student leadership group whose focus is to develop student-led assemblies that address conflict resolution, peace, being social activists, and identify problems in their community and how to solve them.
Mrs. Lopez has an equal passion for instruction and curriculum development. She has been a part of the Instructional Leadership Team at Wonderland Elementary for seven years and has been an integral part of the decision-making process as well as implementation and instructional development team for their Readers’ & Writers’ Workshop (which comes from Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City) and Cognitively Guided Instruction in Mathematics (part of the UCLA Math Project). Her shared efforts to lead the school in outstanding instruction has led Wonderland to receive the “California Distinguished School Award” in 2011 and expecting to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award in 2017. Wonderland’s instructional programs, dedicated teachers, school culture & climate and social-emotional programs are the reasons why Wonderland has been topped ranking in the district for many years.
Karla Lopez is graduate of Eastern Michigan University moved to Los Angeles, California to become a teacher in 2000. Since then, she has earned her Master’s Degree from California State University in Educational Leadership and Administration. She started teaching in Los Angeles in 2000. Teaching children allowed Karla to realize that students and parents come to school with many issues and needs that aren’t being addressed. Educators are more than just teachers. They are nurses, coaches, parents, counselors, referees and family. Gradually Mrs. Velasco made the change to school administration at Wonderland Elementary School where she met Dana Blannon, her friend and co-author of “The Coop”, in 2013. Karla Lopez is passionate about education, curriculum, and the social-emotional well-being of the students. She brings her training and knowledge of Way of Council to address the socio-emotional issues that arise daily in the school community.
Dana and Karla work closely together at Wonderland Ave School. It is through their friendship and personalities that the characters Sunshine and Dark Cloud came to life. Using their personal dynamics the idea for “The Coop” was born. Through Karla’s optimistic & positive outlook on life the nickname, Sunshine, was given to her by Dana. In return, Dana was rewarded the nickname, Dark Cloud, for her realistic and logical perspective. And along with the day to day problems that arise, they are constantly encountering many social issues around students, parents, and adults. Dana and Karla started to really think about how they could help their school community, but most importantly the kids. How do you help children (and adults) truly deal with issues of bullying, peer pressure, family, sickness, and even death? At their school site one of strategies they use in helping kids and the adults address issues and tough situations is through storytelling. Storytelling is a gateway to discuss “tough topics” in a safe environment that may be too delicate to bring up in a conversation. Our goal is to provide parents and teachers with tools to help them through the challenges of everyday life. The Coop is a whole package it lends itself to variety of topics and lessons to address the social and emotional development of children (ages five to thirteen). Not only have we developed the first book in the series, and are working on our third.
Learn More About Karla Lopez’s Book at: www.amazon.com/Heart-Coop-Karla-Lopez-ebook/dp/B01LFG14YI#nav-subnav