Move This World CEO Sara Potler LaHayne on VatorNews podcast

Kristin Karaoglu · April 2, 2021 · Short URL:

Provider of social emotional learning programs supports 1.5 million students across 38 states

Bambi Francisco Roizen interviews Sara Potler LaHayne, CEO of Move This World.

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Here are some takeaways:

  • Move This World (MTW) started in 2007, while LaHaye was on a Fulbright scholarship. It started as an academic project. Since then, it has touched 1.5 million student lives across 38 states. 

  • Social emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which we recognize and identify and manage emotions. It allows us to develop positive working relationships and avoid negative behaviors. Practicing emotional social and emotional skills should be done as much as we practice math and science. Empathy is a muscle that needs to be developed.

  • MTW recognizes people carry emotional backpacks. MTW provides students, teachers and families to identify and express what’s in those backpacks to acknowledge what we’re all carrying around on our backs. The program comes in five-minute video bites. Teachers press play and the video does the teaching. Each video contains opportunities to explore our own emotional states and reflect and apply SE skills, such as breathing, to our lives. Schools use these videos at the start and end of the days to provide structure and routine. Some teachers also use the videos before tests. For elementary students, SEL programs teach them emotional vocabulary; For middle to high-school students, they’re learning goal setting and agency. 

  • What about outcomes? Schools that have used SEL programs have seen incident reports go down by as much as 28% and have seen suspensions drop as well. 

  • About 75% of schools who pay for MTW are public; School districts pay a subscription fee to get access to all the content, plus coaching for teachers.

  • Some 75% of all schools say they provide some form of SEL but yoga after school and mindfulness or meditation isn’t SEL. SEL is an evidence-based developmentally appropriate curriculum. 

  • What’s driving this lack of an ability to cope? 24/7 news cycle; prevalence of technology has taken away our ability to be present. While we have presence (we’re in the same room), we’re not being present with family and friends.

  • Religion provides structure, routine and values that can help people feel grounded. These routines and teachings can also teach purpose and gratitude.   


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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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