Crisp Elementary School Participated in Grant Program

Published 1:58 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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PLAINS – The fourth grade students of Crisp County Elementary School participated in a unique
opportunity with Jimmy Carter National Historical Park. Earlier this month, students learned
about social-emotional wellness, strategies for regulating their emotions, and about the life and
legacies of President and Mrs. Carter. At the conclusion of the program, they established a
student garden at their school.
Jimmy Carter National Historical Park (Jimmy Carter NHP), in partnership with the Rosalynn
Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI) and Friends of Jimmy Carter NHP, was awarded a grant by
the National Park Foundation to help serve the social and emotional needs of 4th grade students
from area Title I schools. “They need Maslow before they Bloom” is a three-day program that
focuses on helping students identify emotions and equipping them with coping strategies for
when those emotions become too big to handle. The title of the grant is a play on “Maslow’s
Hierarchy of Needs” and “Bloom’s Taxonomy” – two practices educators apply each day in their
On the first day of the program, Park Ranger Jennifer Hopkins visited fourth graders at Crisp
County Elementary. While there, she talked to students about the importance of caring for their
mental health, helped them identify emotions, and taught strategies for conflict resolution. She
also introduced students to Rosalynn Carter’s role in mental health advocacy during her tenure as
First Lady of Georgia and First Lady of the United States. On the second day of the program,
students were invited to the park to explore Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood Farm and to engage in
hands-on activities at the Rosalynn Smith Carter Childhood Garden. To promote long-term
mental health awareness and continued emotional learning through outdoor activity, Ranger
Hopkins, and park intern, Annora Melton, helped students establish their own reflection and
meditation garden for other students, faculty, and staff to enjoy. During the final visit, park staff
also provided teachers and students with resource bags. Students received information on what to
do if they need to reach out for emotional support, a copy of The Celebrate Your Family Book by
author Ellen Sabin, and an Every Kid in a Park Pass which allows students and their families to
visit National Parks across the nation for free during Summer 2023.

In a recent interview, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stated, “Our efforts as
educators must go beyond literacy, math, history, science, and other core subjects to include
helping students to build social, emotional, and behavioral skills they will need to fully access
and participate in learning and make the most of their potential and future opportunities…it’s our
responsibility to ensure that we are helping to provide students with a strong social and
emotional foundation so that they also can excel academically.” The Georgia Department of
Education has taken up that responsibility by implementing new Health Education standards for
the 2022-2023 school year to include mental health education.
About the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers
The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers was established in 1987 by former First Lady
Rosalynn Carter to promote the health, strength, and resilience of caregivers throughout the
United States. RCI fulfills its promise to champion the family caregiver by building cross-sector
partnerships, developing, and providing evidence-based programs and advocating for public