Brooklyn's PS 282 kindergarten teacher Nicole Lopez (left) and Tressa Cunningham, director, Sanford Education Programs, LIU, warm up the class.

Through its regional partnership with Long Island University, the Sanford Harmony Program came to a kindergarten class at PS 282 in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood on April 20 as part of the “Week of the Young Child” commemoration.

The Sanford Harmony Program is a research-based social emotional learning project designed to promote positive peer interactions and relationships among all students through lessons and activities that encourage communication, collaboration and mutual respect. T​his program is credited with improving academic performance, increasing empathy and promoting a more positive attitude towards school. The research also found that the program led to reduced stereotyping and less classroom aggression.

Mrs. Nicole Lopez’s kindergarten students welcomed the chance to play with the lovable “Z”, the central character in Sanford Harmony’s elementary curriculum.

Sanford Harmony was envisioned and initially funded by noted philanthropist Denny Sanford. Currently it is impacting more than 200,000 students in New York through its regional partnership with Long Island University, and more than 1 million students nationwide through its affiliation with National University.