The New Kid on the Block

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Michelle Jones, a group leader in the Wings for Kids

Photos by Stell Simonton

Listening is a skill taught in social- and emotional-education programs. Here, Michelle Jones, a group leader in the Wings for Kids after-school program at Heritage Elementary School, a Title 1 school in metro Atlanta, listens to second-grader Rasul Diagne as he does homework.

Ginny Deerin walked out of a psychologist’s office one day in 1995, wrapped in thought.

It had been a difficult year. She had faced family illness and relationship challenges, and she was questioning her role at work and in the community, although she was quite successful as development director of the Hollings Cancer Center for the Medical University of South Carolina.

In counseling, she learned ways to better communicate, to listen and to be empathetic. These tools were so helpful, she was stunned she hadn’t been introduced to them sooner.

“Why didn’t anyone teach me this when . . .

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