The S.O. What! Curriculum.

Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education

An innovative way to get youth engaged, reading, writing, thinking and learning how to deal with life, overcome obstacles, make good choices, and prepare for their futures.

I had no idea that when I wrote a book about my life that it would change so many others.

When I walk into a school, from middle school to college, I am humbled and honored when both students and educators tell me they “could not put down that book”.

Students excitedly reading and actively learning

My memoir, Life After Birth- A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, was the launching pad for S.O. What! helping people to live no judgment, no excuses lives. The S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum and workbooks use my journey from insecure child to successful adult to help youth and young adults create make better choices for their own lives. Incorporating higher learning standards for English Language Arts, the curriculum uses a relatable, non-fiction text to build literacy skills and teach youth valuable life lessons.

With a focus on overcoming obstacles, eliminating excuses, and calculating choices, the curriculum address the topics impacting the success of youth and young adults. From core issues like self-esteem and how to love themselves to practical skills like how to manage time and even how to buy a car or a house, the curriculum helps students exam the various issues that I encountered and what I learned from my mistakes and experiences.

Students enjoy it because it deals with many of the same situations and challenges they deal with daily. Dealing with bullying and low self-esteem, relationships, and peer pressure are just a few of the topics that impact youth and often lead to devastating consequences. The curriculum also addresses issues that students can aspire to achieving like getting a job in school, going to college, buying a car and buying a house, all while dealing with life’s challenges and overcoming obstacles.

Educators appreciate because students want to read and participate with the program. It curriculum teaches citing evidence, sequence, vocabulary, writing, and active discussions as well as life skill and character education that students need to be successful in life, school, and careers.

“Reading Life After Birth had such a positive impact on my relationship with my sons.  Because I saw pieces of myself in Summers’s story and how she was able to achieve her dreams it gave me the courage to push forward.  I share Summer’s story with my sons to help them see that in spite of what life throws at you, with hard work and the right attitude you can be successful. As a single parent I know that the curriculum could help so many of our students. We have to provide our children with the resources that they need to achieve greatness. This curriculum is one of those resources”.

Belinda SimpsonMother of Matthew Simpson

The key goals of the curriculum:

  • Improve academic performance, standardized test scores, school attendance rates, graduation rates, and post-secondary attendance rates
  • Build digital literacy and STEM skills to support learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
  • Develop college and career goals and workforce readiness
  • Promote literacy, academic excellence, health-related and financial education
  • Build self-esteem and help students value themselves and their futures
  • Reduce bullying and violence and decrease discipline referrals
  • Encourage leadership, teamwork, and community involvement
  • Develop character and teach life skills to help students succeed in school and beyond
  • Improve emotional learning initiatives
  • Reduce poverty and welfare dependence

Where should the curriculum be used?

The S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum is available in versions for:

  • 5th grade
  • Middle school
  • High school
  • Teen parents
  • Single parents
  • Guidance/Counseling sessions- The curriculum includes topics pertinent to guidance and school counseling including emotional issues and college preparation.
  • Health classes- The curriculum includes topics pertinent to discussion in health classes including relationships, sex, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Because of the strong literacy focus, as well as the financial, health, and many other topics, the lessons in the curriculum could be taught over various classes/groups for cross-curricular instruction.
  • Community Programs- Youth groups that focus on developing youth for successful futures
  • Churches- Youth and young adult ministries
  • Adolescent Parenting Programs- Schools for adolescent parents and residential programs for adolescent parents

Key curriculum topics:

  • Self-esteem
  • Bullying
  • Decision-making
  • Understanding emotions
  • Cause and effect
  • Relationships and sex
  • STD’s and teen pregnancy
  • The power of friends
  • Money management
  • Accountability
  • Responsibility
  • Handling disappointment
  • Communication skills
  • Planning and thinking ahead
  • The importance and impact of education
  • Delayed gratification
  • Goal setting
  • Making a good impression
  • The value of hard work
  • Prioritizing
  • Handling disappointments