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Social-Emotional Learning with Ms. Grace

Hello! My name is Grace Miller, and I’m the  Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Interventionist at the Bethlehem Center. Since August of this year, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to connect with students in our Read to Lead Academy on a deeper level. My hope is that through the SEL program, we can give our  Beth students the tools they need to be socially and emotionally mature as they move into adulthood.

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My job at the Beth is to oversee students who need additional support.  I provide individual check-ins on Mondays and four emotional-education groups on Thursdays.  It’s not unusual for there to be at least one or two kids who enter our building completely distraught. If a child is overwhelmed, upset, confused, or just needs a break from all of the chaos, my job is to provide a place for them to process their thoughts and feelings in safe and healthy ways. 

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Since I started seeing these students, the Read to Lead staff has seen improvement in kids who’ve been stereotyped as “problem” children in the past. What our SEL program has proven and is continuing to prove is that teaching a child certain methods that positively impact his or her emotional and social growth, will lead to a dramatic difference in his or her behavior.

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During emotional-education groups, I focus on SEL skills and principles. This semester, two groups are currently focusing on learning what emotions are and how to appropriately express them to others. The other two groups are learning how to manage and regulate their emotions. One benefit from these groups is that we not only get to teach children essential social-emotional life skills, but the kids are also learning what it means to support each other. 

In the four short months of being in this position, it has been so rewarding to witness the students learning and applying these methods. Even when they are upset, they are learning that in the end, things will be okay.  The heart of the SEL program is to help our students learn that even if they can’t control their circumstances, they can control their responses and futures. 

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I feel so thankful to be a part of an agency that creates a lasting hope for the youth of South Chattanooga.  I’m excited to see how the SEL program will continue to impact the kids in our community.


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Grace Miller

Grace earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. She is currently working towards graduating with her Master’s from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in May 2020. 




Posted by The Beth

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Volunteer Highlight: Ms. Bertha


The Bethlehem Center is where I spent most of my time doing co-op hours. These hours helped me meet professional office status for my degree. I didn’t know that there was such a loving and impactful group of individuals that care for the community close to where I live! The people working at the Beth inspire me to give back to my community as well. 


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Coming to the Bethlehem Center was not something that I had planned originally. I was looking for a place to volunteer and God placed me in the perfect setting. I wanted to volunteer at a place that helps uplift the children and families in my community and that’s exactly what the Beth does!

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I worked at the Beth nearly every morning with my preceptor. We focused on a project called Faith & Finances which will help people in the community improve their relationship with God, money, and others. I also answered phone calls and greeted residents looking for services. On occasion, I visited these residents and helped them get rides to the grocery store, taught them how to crochet, and assisted with educational and gardening needs. 

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There are so many different ways to help uplift the community and the Beth does it all! This center is filled with some of the most amazing people. I was able to find people that I relate to. Everyone is filled with life and has such positive attitudes. The Bethlehem Center is a huge blessing to the city of Chattanooga and volunteering there was the best experience ever!


Posted by The Beth

Yoga in Miller Park

September 30th, 2019
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Yoga in Miller Park

The Read to Lead Academy is now taking students to Yoga in Miller Park once a month thanks to the planning, recruitment of sponsors, and implementation of Haley Doss of River City Company! This new initiative was designed for students to get out of their comfort zones by participating in fun excursions throughout the school year and not just during the summer. These monthly trips also include the aquarium, zoo, and the Discovery Museum.

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Showing up for yoga on a rainy Saturday, the children didn’t know what to expect. Some unimpressed, others curious, they all walked slowly towards the yoga circle set up by Johnny and Tammy from Young Yogalettes. After being told to take off their shoes, they sat impatiently on their mats, awaiting more instructions. What started as breathing exercises soon became extensive stretches, forward and backward lunges, and wobbling every which way. As children often do, they quickly became comfortable with the stretching and attempted each unfamiliar move with enthusiasm and vigor.

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As the yoga session came to an end, the children laid on their backs and listened to a story about the time Harry Houdini had been challenged to break out of a prison cell. He attempted to break out with a hidden piece of steel, but cheating was not enough to accomplish his goal of escaping. After hours of mental and physical exhaustion, he pushed on the cell door...and it crept slowly open.  As it turned out, the cheating had been unnecessary in the first place.

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The story was a perfect conclusion to our time, ending with the children eagerly raising their hands and discussing why cheating is bad. Overall, the excursion was a success, and the Read to Lead  Academy cannot wait to take more students to the next Yoga in Miller Park!

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 Evan Roan

Evan is a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga with a bachelor's degree in Social Work. He is currently the Education and Marketing Specialist at the Bethlehem Center. 

Posted by The Beth

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Support the Beth for Giving Tuesday!

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Enjoy a meal at one or both or our giveback restaurants and then join us at United We Dance!

Proceeds will benefit our programs which provide education, leadership, and spiritual development for under-served youth and adults in South Chattanooga. 

See schedule of events below!

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