Norristown, PA, AUGUST 9, 2022—CASEN LLC has been holding a series of classes, in person and over Zoom, on helping children deal with social wellness, bullying, their emotional needs, and social media, held at the Montgomery County OIC, 1101 Arch Street, in Norristown.
Dr. Myava Clark, Co-Founder & CEO of CASEN, and her son Chris, Co-Founder & President, have developed classes on social wellness aimed towards supporting adults who work with children and their mental health, such as: teachers, guidance counsellors, social workers, psychologists, etc. They also have facilitators for individuals, such as home-schooled children who wants to partake in the curriculum.
“The CASEN concept came from Chris,” says Dr. Clark; “Chris struggled in school, and on social media when he was young. When he graduated, his father asked him, ‘What do you wish you had, that you didn’t have, that could help kids today?’ Chris said, ‘I wish someone taught me how to be appropriate on social media.’ He wanted to develop an app that would help kids with learning differences to be appropriate on social media. It started with the app, and it evolved into CASEN Social Network Wellness Academy.”
In the course, says Dr. Clark, CASEN has the CASEN Social Network Wellness Academy, and the current course at Montgomery County OIC is on social-emotional development, adding, “We’re teaching social-emotional learning, and we’re integrating it with social media. The kids can connect the dots from what they’re learning in school on social-emotional learning and bridge the gap with home life interacting outside of school on social media.” There are aspects of social-emotional learning, says Dr. Clark, in the classes at Montgomery County OIC, and how it all ties into online gaming. Other courses put forth by CASEN, says Dr. Clark, would include “mental health development, identity development, academic development, cultural development, physical development, and social media readiness, as well as (dealing with) bullying. We’re aiming to make the child well-rounded all the way.”
“The other reason I came up with it,” adds Chris Clark, “when I was in high school struggling, my dad and his buddies were kind of a protective force, because I was much less responsible in how I reacted, and it was good having them as that support system.” They were, he says, “that backup I needed, to have a course-correct when I was struggling. That’s the purpose of CASEN, to do that, (to be) that force of protection (kids) can run to, to develop those skills,” so that they would not have “to go through the same struggles I went through.”
Dr. Myava Clark and Chris Clark sit in on a class of Camp Xtreme, a summer camp for kids, ages 7 to 14, held at the OIC. The camp’s director, Andre Hayes, leads CASEN Social Network Wellness Academy Social-Emotional Development Course: a series of classes on helping children develop social skills. The previous class dealt with how kids should handle being bullied, and how bullying made them feel; in this class, he urges them to remember if they themselves bullied anyone, and how it made the other person feel, and how to treat others better in the future. The theme of the class, says Hayes, is to help the kids have empathy, the ability, he says, to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.”
Next, Hayes leads the class in teaching the dangers of too much time on social media, particularly online video games; he shows a video, from the United Kingdom, showing a young man becoming addicted to an online video game, and how he kept failing in school because of it.
CASEN Outreach provides a network of facilitators who go into the community and teach the dangers of social media, types of bullying, and how to access social media appropriately.
CASEN Education uses the Social Network Wellness Academy to teach social wellness to children. The Social Network Wellness Academy supports a child’s mental, emotional, social, and physical wellbeing in a safe, supportive and focused environment.
CASEN Connect is a social media application (app) that is a social media app with training wheels and filters. It is designed to be a precursor for regular social media apps and it is by invitation only. This avoids unintended parties from gaining access to children. CASEN Connect is designed for children 9-13 years of age, as well as children who may have social, and/or emotional needs to behave appropriately while using social media.