Ocean City Primary School (OCPS) held the district’s first ever SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Day “ALL IN” on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. The school echoed with excitement as students and staff engaged in a fun-filled day packed with games and activities, all celebrating the crucial role of SEL throughout the year. 

Throughout the school year, health and wellness teacher Carrie Merritt led her students in weekly SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) activities. These engaging sessions mirrored the fun and enriching experiences of SEL Day, where students participated in a variety of creative and mindful projects. They painted seashells, played teamwork games, enjoyed SEL BINGO, colored mindfully, created sidewalk chalk art, built with LEGOs, and did guided drawing. 

SEL is an integral piece of early learning – focusing on practical skills such as self-management, social and self-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Aiding in overall development, this type of learning intends to create students who can build and maintain positive relationships with others and become lifelong learners and impactful community members.  

“Social and Emotional Learning empowers our students with the skills to manage emotions and build healthy relationships. Through SEL, we nurture resilience, empathy, and self-awareness, equipping ourselves to navigate life's challenges with grace and confidence,” said Merritt. “With events like SEL Day ALL IN, our littlest learners stay engaged with exciting and memorable activities.” 

Students chose four wellness activities from a list of 20 and rotated throughout the day. The event kicked off at 9 am, with kindergartners and first graders wrapping up their adventure at 1:20 pm, while second and third graders continued until 2:15 pm. 

Students also met in the library to enjoy a read aloud by Merritt, receiving an age-appropriate book with a social emotional theme after. 

The success of this event was made possible by the support of everyone involved. The district extended a special thank you to Superintendent Terrence Crowley and the Board of Education for their support, to OCPS families for volunteering and donating supplies, and to the financial donors in the community: 

  • Real Estate Alliance for Charities (REACH) 

  • James and Kelly D’Agostino 

  • Chris Halliday and Halliday Architects 

  • Chugger LaCasse and The Printing Company 

  • Peter Madden and Goldcoast Sotheby’s International Realty    

  • Shannon McAllister and Berkshire Hallaway, Fox & Roach 

“Our Parent Advisory Committee put in tremendous effort to bring the SEL Day vision to life,” said OCPS principal Dr. Cathleen Smith. “The staff's dedication and enthusiasm have been extraordinary, maintaining high energy levels throughout the year with the implementation of the SEL program. This SEL Day event is a testament to the collaborative hard work and commitment of everyone involved.”