ELSOTA! (Emotion Literacy School ON THE AIR)

ELA received an endorsement from the Seattle Public School District’s health education director who requested ELSOTA!’s 5-episode CD with 16-page study guide be made available to every health education teacher in the district.

ELSOTA! is a wonderful, innovative tool—Emotion Literacy Advocates has created a fun, creative way for teachers to talk with students about their feelings. There is application in social/emotional health subjects as well as substance use prevention, family life and relationships, injury prevention and safety, disease prevention and control. After observing some of this material in action, I can unequivocally say this teaching tool is of great value in the classroom.
Lisa Love, Health Education Director for Seattle Public Schools

Each of ELSOTA!’s 5-minute audio episodes uses a combination of artistic elements including dramatic monologue, rhythmic prose and comedic vignette coupled with scientific data, theme music, sound effects and recurring characters. Each episode vividly demonstrates new ways of thinking, talking about and viewing emotion in the context of personal relationships and familiar circumstances.

ELSOTA! episodes have aired during interviews with Pamela Sackett on Seattle’s KISS 106.1, 96.5 The Point, “Teen Talk” on KKNW 1150 AM, KMTT 103.7 The Mountain, The Warm 106.9’s “Exceptional Women” and “Northwestern Exposure,” a regionally syndicated public affairs show.

ELSOTA! is designed for direct use by individuals, groups, mental health facilities, broadcast venues and educational institutions looking for creative, interactive materials for self and social awareness for communication skill-building.

ELSOTA! is such a useful program. It provides much needed tools for identifying feelings that have been unknown and then learning constructive ways to understand them. The examples given are clear and helpful. I would definitely suggest the use of ELSOTA! to my clients.

As a couple, we found that listening to the episodes and then using the study guide helped us identify feelings in some challenging situations and find words to put to the feelings. This was an enjoyable, enlightening process.
Judith Waldman, LCSW-C, Psychotherapist

For information on how to join the list of radio stations who have used ELSOTA! vignettes for lively public affairs programming or for underwriting opportunities in support of our emotion literacy awareness campaign, contact ELA.

*Update: ELSOTA! was released in 2002…more information and a sample audio clip can be seen here, along with a wide range of ELA resources.

“The Full Spectrum Birthday Song” endorsements

“…for the all of you inside!”

The Full Spectrum Birthday Song captures the essence of feeling-friendliness in a narrative that springboards from the topic of birthdays, a dynamic time that stirs all manner of feeling. This musical learning tool is an invitation to celebrate all feelings every year, every day, every moment.

The Full Spectrum Birthday Song was first launched for partnerships between Emotion Literacy Advocates and twenty-three social service agencies in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. Through these agencies, ELA’s song found integral application in multiple settings, for those working with children, parents and teachers. 8,000 CDs were requested and provided by generous ELA program sponsors who generously provided replication, raw materials and courier services.

6th Annual Educational Resource Street Fair in Seattle where inquisitive children came to our table to reflect upon and talk about emotion and to receive ELA’s birthday song as a gift.

Read more about this traveling innovation in community education-as-gift here.

Just as a point of information, I reviewed the CD for the family partnership program in my car on the way to an event, my nine-year old grandson (who I am raising) loves it! He can listen to it over and over again for, literally, hours…thanks so much for your generosity.
—Linda Miner, Family Support Partnership Supervisor @
Tacoma/Pierce County
WA State Health Department
(requested and received 600 CDs)

The Full Spectrum Birthday Song CDs were sent out to (325) families and community partners (with their quarterly newsletter). I wanted you to see the e-mail from Kelly DeLany, Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center Program Manager. The responses have been so positive. Thank you!
—Audrey Riggs, Oregon Department of Human Services’ Child Welfare Supervisor

We just received the latest edition of Kidbits with the lovely enclosed CD. I’m playing it now over and over… I found The Full Spectrum Birthday Song laughter-inspiring and intriguing and it certainly covered the full range of birth feelings. I personally plan to play it at our next family birthday event and make it a ‘full-spectrum celebration’. I have asked Jennifer Ricks to consider including it in her Positive Parenting training.
—Kelly DeLany, Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center Program Manager

I gave out the CDs to most of my families last month. This month I am asking if the children enjoyed listening to the CD. So far, it has been a positive hit with the children. They want to listen to it several times over. This CD is introducing vocabulary and is building self esteem—making the children feel good about themselves…both child and parent listen to the CD together, this also gives the parent some tools of how they may talk to their child. Thank you for sharing your CD with so many families of young children.
—Sue Rogge, Family Support Partnership Program @ Tacoma/Pierce County WA State Health Department

The original mixed-media painting that became the “FSB-day Song ” CD cover art, by ELA’s Mark Magill, photo by Daniel Sackett

The Full Spectrum Birthday Song (or Why Just Happy?) will be a great asset to any wish granted here. These (CD’s) will be given to children whose birthdays fall on the day of their wish as a ‘wish perk.’ We listened to the CD and found it very innovative and inspirational.
—Alyssa Chrobuck, Make a Wish Foundation

Pamela Sackett’s Full Spectrum Birthday Song is a wonderful song of celebration—not just of one’s birthday, but of one’s range of emotional expression, abilities & possibilities. We acknowledge and honor children’s feelings and encourage them to express their feelings—that it’s ‘OK’ to feel happy, sad, angry, etc. Pamela’s Full Spectrum Birthday Song communicates these same values in a creative, musical and thoughtful way!
—Randy McCoy, Director of Curriculum, The Little Gym International

You did good…The Full Spectrum Birthday Song CDs work really well in several of our classes and we’ve shared them with other agencies that serve parents!
—Nancy Klahn, RN, MHA/MBA, Parent Enhancement Program

Pamela about to send off 8,000 CDs, requested by social service agency program managers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington

We hand out The Full Spectrum Birthday Song CDs at classes as part of our curriculum. Children are learning the song, moving to it and playing instruments with it.
—Denise Mimura, Executive Director, Arts in Motion (music programs offered to all incomes in south end Seattle public schools)

The Full Spectrum Birthday Song is fresh and brings so much more to the meaning of celebrating birthdays. The song and music are a real work of art. Much soul and inspiration for celebrating all of life comes through even in just that two minute sample online.
—Georgene DeWald, Certified Professional Coach

Pamela’s song reminds us of so many possibilities…let The Full Spectrum Birthday Song become the new tradition.
—Arlene Plevin, Ph.D, author/professor

My three and a half year-old daughter loved the imagery in The Full Spectrum Birthday Song and requested we play ‘that other birthday song’ again…why settle for ‘happy’? The Full Spectrum Birthday Song encourages exploration of all manner of birthday sentiments.
—Collen Laing, public affairs consultant

Birthdays are a time when we celebrate the passing of a year and the beginning of a new one. Each year has it’s ups and downs and in the acceptance and appreciation of these fluctuations, we find the immensity and deep meaning and joy of life. Pamela’s song asks why just a ‘happy’ birthday? Why not celebrate and love the whole reality of living? It’s a simple song, humorous and one with a message as profound as the ages.
—Dan Richman, Seattle Public School teacher

“The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie” press & pics


Emotion Literacy Advocates (ELA) has had many exciting developments since we produced The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie, including a sequence of bookings on sixteen cinema screens,  an award SeattleArts_logo_bwfrom the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in support of a four-month Washington state tour and an in-kind contribution of services from Deluxe in Los Angeles which means we were able to provide 35mm prints to each partnering movie house!

last duck movie pg on actual screen
ELA’s private viewing on cinema screen to test Deluxe print from Los Angeles
“The Ducks’ & Us Songbook Movie” an official selection at the festival.

According to Still Hope Productions founder John F. Williams, fellow film-maker and festival attendee, The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie was the festival darling inspiring laughter and a large amount of applause.

Let’s hear it for our participating ducks, humans and our contributing artists:

Timothy Piggee sings the part of “Lou.”
Teresa Clark sings the part of “Claire.”


Elizabeth Williams portraying “Kate.”
The Northwest Boychoir and conductor Ben Kromholtz en route to KUOW studios to record for “The Ducks & Us Song.” (“The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie” soundtrack)
Art Institute of Seattle interns: (left to right) Catherine McConnell, Reese Kindle, Haley Karnes, Nikki Nopens. Our multi-media makers: illustration, animation, video in synch with song!
sea-media review Screen shot 2015-03-20 at 2.36.24 PM
A welcomed review for ELA’s collaborative learning tool!
“The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie” plays in perpetuity for related events at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, one of the largest museums of natural history in the world.

The latest ELA news flash:

The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie can now be found at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences & UCLA film archives!

More info can be found right here on this blog about The Academy & UCLA film archives, along with the newsy flow of events for this musical movie learning tool here.

“The Ducks & Us Song” testimonials

Did you know that the deceptively simple act of “feeding” the birds actually hurts the birds and their habitat?

“The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie” began as “The Ducks & Us Song,” a musical learning tool with a study guide, integrated into environmental learning programs in Seattle.

To read about the trajectory of this  learning tool project, some, if not all, related events can be found in our ELA News (page 3)!

Here are comments we received from those who engaged with the  pre-animated song:

feeding and being true to his namesake

What a fascinating project and such a new take on an old issue. I’ve seen all kinds of tactics attempted: flyers, brochures, signs, but never a song! I really appreciate the effort you’ve made on such an awful issue. The song was dead on with so many aspects of the problem…really a great job!

—Michele Goodman
Webbed Foot Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic

(Goodman’s quoted in AP article on duck feeding damage called “angel wing.“)

This is an interesting project that helps get the message out in a different way about why it’s not okay to feed ducks and geese. Most people are not aware of the problems associated with this common activity occurring in many of our parks and other waterfowl use areas.
—Don Kraege, Waterfowl Section Manager, WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

This song reminds me of many songs I listened to and sang as a young child and the fact that I still remember those songs and have fond memories of singing them speaks to the power of singing as a learning tool for young children. I think that the questions are very appropriate and I especially like the attention to the belief systems and personal motivations that are informing each character’s decision.
—Liz Silvestrini, Education Coordinator, Sustainable Seattle

I am really impressed! You call this a song but I think it’s more like a one-act operetta—it’s a whole story that covers a lot of ground. You brought up issues in a way that allows people to make their own decisions.
—Belinda Chin, Education Supervisor, Seattle Parks and Recreation

The Ducks and Us learning tool connects the arts, youth, and ecology in an innovative and exciting way to bring an important message about the devastating affects that ‘people’ food can have on our bird population. It would be great if this awesome song became a ‘standard’ song kids grow up singing…
—Heidi Narte, Senior Gardener, SE District Seattle Parks and Recreation

I listened to the song. How fun and such a smart way to approach the problem.
—Valerie Easton
 (See Easton’s article in Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine, 6/22/08:“Serve meals to the wild things and risk trouble of all kinds.”)

As I rove and contact the public at Carkeek, Magnuson, Golden Gardens, and Meadowbrook Ponds, I encounter Chases and Claires all the time. The Ducks & Us is sensitive to people needs and emotional ties to nature and clearly addresses the sensitivities of behavior change for urban humans.
—Brian Gay, Naturalist, Seattle Parks and Recreation