ASSET was inspired by two extraordinary educators: Suellen Inwood and Chris Quirk. Their student, Tessa Zimmerman, grew up with severe anxiety in the classroom and it wasn't until she attended the high school led by Suellen and Chris that she learned the tools to cope.
For Tessa's college thesis, she wanted to make these tools accessible to classrooms everywhere. In 2016, ASSET entered its first academic class at DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School and quickly earned recognition for its success. In February of 2016, Tessa won the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab Design Challenge to launch ASSET's first professional development and formalize a partnership with the Imaginarium.
She teamed up with Brent Modak, the first teacher to pilot ASSET, to formalize the curriculum and professional development program.
In January of 2017, Signe Hawley, a Research Partner at the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab, began conducting case studies on ASSET's impact and has found remarkable results.
Since it's inception in 2016, ASSET has trained over 150 educators and equipped 3,025 students in the ASSET tools.
After having immense success with local Denver high schools, ASSET is growing its reach to high schools across the country, ultimately making these tools accessible to every student.
There is an epidemic running rampant within our schools: students are experiencing unprecedented levels of school-related stress and anxiety. In a case study conducted by the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab, they found that 85% of students reported experiencing stress and/ or anxiety caused by school on a daily basis. Yet, over 90% agreed that their school does not help them cope. Teachers, the people on the front lines of this epidemic, have not received training or gained the tools to help their students cope until now. This is how ASSET works to end the epidemic of student stress:
The curriculum is made up of three modules: Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, and Positive Self-Talk. We knew teachers cared but couldn’t afford to implement a lengthy program, so we convened some of the best teachers we know to turn these tools into 32, bite-sized social-emotional learning lessons that could be implemented at the start of an academic class, during a morning meeting, or before a test. Teachers that purchase the curriculum also have access to corresponding presentations for each lesson.
ASSET trains school staff members in the curriculum modules of Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, and Positive Self-Talk. In an ASSET PD educators role-play tools, practice troubleshooting, and plan their curriculum implementations. These sessions are great for educators that want to:
Thank you to our partners that help us champion ASSET's work for students throughout Denver and across the country.
Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab
DSST: Green Valley Ranch
North High School
Denver School of Innovation & Sustainable Design