Sara POTLER LaHayne
Founder and CEO of Move This World
The Power of Emotional Resiliency
Sara LaHayne, the Founder and CEO of Move This World, leads an award-winning education media company that provides students with social and emotional skills via multimedia experiences. These experiences help students thrive both in the classroom and beyond. As the author and creator of the curriculum, Sara has helped millions of young students establish and maintain skills to develop healthy relationships, build trust, and navigate the challenges of an increasingly complex world.
Amidst consistent change over the past 15 years, one thing has remained unwavering for MTW: a founder’s steadfast vision to cultivate skills for authentic expression and emotional management. This vision aims to liberate every student, teacher, administrator, and family member from the self-imposed limitations we often place on ourselves.
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It all started at recess one day at an elementary school in Bogota, Columbia…
Sara realized that movement could be used as a vehicle to grow social emotional skills.
When Sara first embarked on her journey as a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia in 2007, it struck her as odd that students in conflict ridden Bogota were being taught empathy and conflict resolution through textbooks. Students weren’t interested in reading about these important concepts.
They wanted to dig deeper…
In 2007, when Sara first embarked on her journey as a Fulbright Scholar in conflict-ridden Colombia, it struck her as odd that there was an attempt to teach students empathy and conflict resolution through textbooks. Not surprisingly, students had shown little interest in reading about these important concepts.
Then, one day at recess, Sara watched students in a parking lot rock out to music playing from a boombox. She saw how passionate and inspired they were through their laughter and movement. That was her epiphany. She worked with the school’s faculty to help develop a program that borrowed from what the students loved – music and dance – and incorporated the same social, emotional and civic skills described in their textbooks. In partnership with her Fulbright research team, professional educators and creative arts therapists, Sara developed and implemented the very first Move This World (MTW) social emotional learning curriculum.
After returning to the US, Sara worked with the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and the American Institutes for Research to adapt and expand the program. The curriculum was carefully developed to align to the five core social emotional competencies as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).