Marilynn Jacobs
High 5 Adventure Learning Center

Rebuilding After COVID Program will Help Teachers Ease the Effects of the Pandemic on Students

High 5 Adventure Learning Center launches online professional development initiative blending adventure education and social-emotional learning to re-engage students through connection-building activities 

BRATTLEBORO, V.T. (August 3, 2021) — Today High 5 Adventure Learning Center announced the launch of Rebuilding After COVID, a new professional development program to support upper elementary, middle school, and high school educators as they re-engage students in learning, helping them to overcome the impact of the pandemic on their mental and physical health and to reconnect their learning communities through activities that promote recovery through a spirit of adventure and creativity.

Rebuilding After COVID incorporates experiential social-emotional learning (SEL) practices to help educators recognize and address how the pandemic has impacted students:

  • Rebuilding Community: Activities to restore school climate and rebuild community.
  • Rebuilding Emotional Wellbeing: Activities to recognize and manage the emotions that are likely to arise now and during the transition to the COVID recovery period.
  • Rebuilding Physicality: Activities to create kinesthetic outlets for overcoming social distancing, screen learning, and internalized experiences of trauma.

The program is aligned with the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework and complements other SEL curricula. 

Rebuilding After COVID is informed by the evidence of how children and adults recover from trauma and draws from the High 5 team’s 35 years of research-based practice combining experiential education with social-emotional learning, a methodology that uses play as the pathway for building relationships, increasing emotional awareness, and teaching creative problem solving. Educational experts advise that incorporating SEL into the school day and after school programming will be essential to restoring connections between students and teachers, which is the foundation for every need that schools will face, from combating learning loss to reducing absenteeism. 

“Our mission has been to help teachers improve the learning environment and culture within their classroom to strengthen relationships and support academics,” said Jim Grout, High 5 co-founder and executive director. “Now we are faced with a greater challenge. Children struggle to process a loss of the magnitude this pandemic has created. We’ve seen in our work that immersive, experiential social-emotional activities have powerful relationship-building and mental and physical health benefits that other interventions can’t provide. We created this professional development series to give educators a broader range of educational tools to help their communities cope with and rebuild from these difficult experiences from a place of joy.”

Rebuilding After COVID is accessed via an easy-to-use, self-guided online learning platform organized so that educators can easily find an activity or prompt, learn how to facilitate it, and bring it to their students. The program includes: 

  • More than 30 SEL-based developmental activities, discussions, and lessons – each with easy-to-follow demonstration videos and instructions.
  • Downloadable templates for program evaluation and for communicating with families.
  • Resources for professional team meetings and in-service days.
  • Live online training events with the High 5 team.
  • Access to an online community of educators all working together to re-engage students. 
  • Alignment with the requirements for federal American Rescue Plan Act and ESSER state funding programs.

The High 5 team will hold a free preview of the activities and training in this new program, “Introduction to Rebuilding After COVID,” on Tuesday, August 17, from 12:30-1:30pm ET. Registration is available at:

High 5 created the Rebuilding After COVID online learning site in partnership with Tovuti, the award-winning learning management system. High 5 selected Tovuti for providing a comfortable and easy user experience – an important requirement for time-pressed educators – while incorporating all the essential tools needed to support efficient training and learning.

Rebuilding After COVID is priced at $299 for two years of access, with additional benefits for schools, districts, or programs that register 20 educators or more. Registration is available at and questions may be directed to


High 5 Adventure Learning Center is dedicated to building stronger communities. A nonprofit educational organization, High 5 has been recognized worldwide for its brand of adventure, experiential education, and leadership programs. Some of the world’s most respected schools, colleges, sports teams, institutions, and businesses come to High 5 to help them use experiential education as a catalyst for positive change.  

High 5’s Edge of Leadership (EOL) youth program emphasizes the development of empowering leadership skills that can be used to help others, set positive examples, effect change, and make a difference. Based on decades of experiential youth programming and the foremost social-emotional learning (SEL) methodology, EOL’s experiential SEL program helps students and educators connect and communicate in new and positive ways, opening doors and improving school culture. For nearly ten years, High 5 has partnered with the Keene, NH School District to bring Edge of Leadership to every school in the district, reaching more than 1,000 students and teachers annually in grades 5-12. EOL evaluation data has shown that the program produces ​​growing levels of social intelligence, mature decision-making, and self-awareness in students as noted by teachers, and improvement in the teacher’s ability to shape a more positive learning environment.