Lila Vasilescu is the Director of the Verita Foundation and at the same time a trainer and a mother. According to her, people working in these two organizations, namely the Foundation and VIS, had as a main goal the desire to convey their experience of teaching social-emotional learning to their students for more than five years to other parents and educators in the public system, thus emphasizing the relevance of social and emotional learning, with the aim to inspire a new way of looking at our children’s education.
Based on a solid foundation of over 30 years of research and studies, the concept of social and emotional learning has become the main mission of CERC, in its efforts to provide scientific and practical resources, conveyed in various forms.
“It is quite a courageous project that both the Foundation and VIS planned for and worked hard for as they wished to offer these resources to parents and public educators. “
We were addressing both VIS parents and teachers in the public school system. Initially, the project was designed for educators in the public system, having already been invited to train in SEL the amazingly motivated and dedicated teachers from the Teach for Romania organization. However, as time went by, we realized that most of those involved in teaching activities were also parents themselves, which is why the resources we have gathered in our CERC project are now also targeting parents who want to continue developing the social and emotional skills of their children at home since this is an essential part of developing emotional self-regulation in our children,” Lila Vasilescu explains.
“In simple terms, self-regulation is the ability for us to manage our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It helps us to remain calm and alert, and supports the capacity to “respond”, rather than “react” in the face of our many strong emotions and stressors in life and the environment. For example, self-regulation can help a child calm down by himself instead of having a tantrum, or it can help him or her persevere when solving a problem.
Self-regulation in Dr. Stuart Shanker’s view refers to the brain body responses to stress including energy expenditure, recovery and restoration. “Effective self-regulation requires learning to recognize and respond to stress in all its many facets, positive as well as negative, hidden as well as overt, minor as well as traumatic or toxic.”
However, for children to be able to eventually self-regulate, they need from the moment they are born to co-regulate with a caring adult and that is why the parent’s role is in fact the first and most important one as the school can take over from where the child is based on the quality of the co-regulation process they have benefited from at home.
This is why we have decided to offer as many practical and scientific validated resources as possible for both educators and parents in order to be able to support this long-term process of co and self-regulation at home and in schools.
In fact, Lila Vasilescu points out that all resources that are available via CERC are internationally validated under the Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE) curricula, developed by Emory University and the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-based Ethics in the United States. As such, the Verita Foundation is currently the Primary Collaborator of these two institutions, after having signed a memorandum in this regard as of March this year.