BrightNow! is a team of educators, musicians, artists, and innovators dedicated to creating tools for educators and families that support the social-emotional wellness of young learners. Through music, movement, and interactive programs, teachers are supplied a support "tool-kit" that is highly engaging and rewarding for kids. The supports are addressed and integrated into the lyrics, lessons, and activities in a way that enables a teacher to incorporate them into lessons and day-to-day activities, and are deliverable online or in-person. This is vital at a time when public health policies can cause interruptions and changes for young learners. BrightNow! programs will keep kids engaged and will positively impact their social emotional wellness.
Bright futures...Right now. BrightNow!
BrightNow! LLC is a partnership of educators, musicians, professional development specialists, and education policy advocates. Research demonstrates that social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties are now among the top five challenges impacting children. Schools are struggling to meet the social and emotional needs of students, resulting in growing populations of students identified as needing special education services, experiencing chronic disciplinary actions, resulting in a disconnection from school and a need for mental health services that far exceeds the current availability of financial and human resources in most schools. Teaching students how to self-regulate, communicate their needs, resolve conflict in a peaceful manner, and show compassion, empathy, resilience, and kindness conveys critical skills necessary for their success not only in school but in life.
BrightNow! with partners, CAIU 15, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, Penn Literacy Network, PATTAN, PBS, WITF, local artists and musicians, has developed a Social Emotional Wellness toolkit. Adapting the “I do, you do, we do'', transferable skills philosophy and through carefully crafted artists in residency programs and other out-reach projects\programs BrightNow! is developing an alternate model to deliver and learn content. Our training enables teachers to continue using the new methods to connect with young learners and introduces new ways for young learners to connect with various concepts. As the pressure to make up lost learning intensifies, now more than ever, educators are encouraged to engage, accelerate, and care, all at the same time. Investing in engagement strategies to entice students back into a culture of learning, accelerating students’ access to grade-level content by teaching lessons, and caring for students in ways that integrate social and emotional literacy using music and the arts as an integrated approach to instruction is proving to be beneficial.
BrightNow! programs were tested and refined during a time when public health policies caused interruptions and changes for young learners, BrightNow! programs are keeping kids engaged. By adding content and artists, as well as teacher training co-curated with our partners, our programs are now being effectively delivered either in-person or virtually. BrightNow! is positively impacting students’ social-emotional literacy and wellness.
BrightNow! is a team of educators, musicians, artists, and innovators dedicated to creating tools for educators and families that support the social-emotional literacy and wellness of young learners. Through music, movement, and interactive programs, teachers are provided with a support "tool-kit" that is highly engaging and rewarding for kids. The supports are addressed and integrated into the lyrics, lessons, and activities that empower a teacher to incorporate them into day-to-day activities, and are deliverable online or in-person. This is vital at a time when public health policies can cause interruptions and changes for young learners.
Check out our work with local community partners, including the PA Department of Education, the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, PBS, PaTTAN and others.
Qualifications of Key BrightNow! Team Members
Leann Tepsich-Cox, BrightNow co-founder, has taught in suburban and urban school districts in Central Pennsylvania for 40 years. Currently, she is the BrightNow lead for Curriculum and Program Design, and she is the Special Programs Grant Coordinator for the Penn Literacy Network at the University of Pennsylvania GSE. Prior to her recent retirement, Leann has been recognized as one of the foremost leaders using aquaponics as a platform for teaching stem disciplines, having successfully created accessible learning opportunities for economically disadvantaged students. She has co-authored several grants to support programming for economically disadvantaged youth. Leann is our in-house School Library Media Specialist.
Bob Welsh, BrightNow co-founder, started working with youth mentor-ship and internship programs over 25 years ago. He pioneered new workforce training opportunities for youth which earned him the Governor’s Keystone Award for Innovation. Mr. Welsh also brought the School To Table© program to the region, which provides fresh produce to local restaurants and events, as well as fresh food to schools in the area that are considered to be in a food desert. Bob is the Founding Director of many non-profit agencies such as Cultural Enrichment Fund and the WheelHouse©; as well as Founding CEO of Integrated Agriculture Systems, Inc., and The Green Room Studios.
Lenny Tepsich, a.k.a. Mr.Music®, co-founder, has worked with children for the past 40 years in
classrooms and the community. He is a recipient of the Easter Seals “Brace for an Ace” award and
Volunteer of the Year award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of Volunteers of America for his ongoing
efforts to provide alternative therapies for children with special needs. His PeaceBeat© project, co-
produced with Bob Welsh, has been an effective tool for educators for over ten years, helping students
find peaceful resolutions in their lives. A feature performer at HersheyPark for over 30 years, he
developed a holiday program for HersheyPark’s Christmas Candylane and produced the album
“Welcome to HersheyPark” with songs that greet guests in the park today.
Holly Serio earned her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College in 2008, . While teaching at the ELCO School District, she went on to earn her Masters in Music Education (also from LVC) in 2015. After teaching elementary music for 12 years, Holly has transitioned from the public school classroom to pursue other music ventures, to include student assemblies, and performing at various venues to audiences of all types. Holly was the 2021 recipient of the "Best Children's Artist" award from the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame because of her work as a children's music songwriter and performer. Additionally, in the summer of 2022, Holly attended the BrightNow! Summer Professional Development Training: Songs from BrightNow! Social-Emotional Wellness Toolkit: PreK-6 Music, Movement, and Social Emotional Wellness (sponsored by the Capital Area Intermediate Unit), actualizing a seamless transition to the BrightNow! Team. Holly's main goal is to provide educational entertainment through music to kids of all ages.
What do BrightNow! tools support?:
BrightNow! tools also augment and support:
The supports are addressed and integrated into the lyrics, lessons, and activities in a way that enables a teacher to incorporate them into day-to-day teaching.
The isolation of required social distancing due to the global pandemic is having a deep impact on children's social emotional wellness. Because the duration of the stay-at-home order and/or subsequent similar orders is not known, we are adapting our delivery model to make it wholly deliverable in three ways:
We realize that the production value on some of the samples has been impacted by the fact that we are all working from home. We are creating material in real time in response to the needs of the teachers in our pilots. More fully produced versions are on the way!
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