Ep. 82 - A Very Big Picture Perspective on SEL, with Soundhari Balaguru, PhD
Soundhari Balaguru, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years experience supporting schools on the east coast and the west coast. Soundhari is the founding Director of Social-Emotional Learning & Mental Health at ChangeMakers Academy (CMA), a diverse K-8 school in Vallejo, CA.
In her work with students, faculty AND families, she is focused on creating a model school that is built upon a genuinely caring community. A school community in which students, teachers, staff, and families understand and accept that people make mistakes, while providing each and every group with the practical tools to constructively address and manage challenges, for everyone’s benefit and progress.
Dr. Soundhari worked with Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School community program for 10+ years to close the racial/economic opportunity gap in schools by providing direct mental health clinical services to students and families, consulting on school-wide student support systems, implementing programs that promoted SEL and culturally responsive care, and shifting school culture to be more attuned to the psychosocial needs of its students. Her passion has always been to collaborate with schools to meet the needs of the whole child - to promote what is therapeutic, even if it’s not therapy - so that every student can learn.
Dr. Soundhari teaching and training experience includes 100+ hours of professional development sessions for educators, coaching/supervising clinicians in school-based work, and co-coordinating the Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships training program. She has also taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Simmons College.
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