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New Wallace Foundation guide offers strategies and applications for SEL in afterschool

By Dan Gilbert

Recent years have seen a massive expansion of recognition for and research around social and emotional learning, both within the afterschool field and in the education field as a whole. Building on this momentum, the Wallace Foundation’s incredible new guide, “Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out,” serves as a valuable resource containing findings from decades of research and the best strategies to apply to your program.

The guide provides an in-depth view on a broad selection of 25 evidence-based programs, offering insights on how they leverage different program approaches and curricula to improve the lives of youth by providing them with opportunities to develop social and emotional skills.

The guide was designed to help anyone actively selecting, recommending, or evaluating SEL programs for elementary-aged youth. It carries practical insights and a wealth of information to help practitioners around the country – both in-school and out – make informed choices about SEL-focused programming.

What's inside

Whether your program is interested in helping students regulate their behavior, developing leadership skills, or working on critical thinking and problem solving, the guide provides a wide array of helpful hints and tips for the afterschool field. Inside, you’ll find background information on SEL and the plethora of benefits that accompany it, recommendations for how to approach SEL from an afterschool setting, and individual profiles for each of the 25 programs, which include well-known afterschool programs like WINGS for Kids, Girls on the Run, and Playworks, among others.

By picking apart how proven programs focus on specific skills, behaviors, and mindsets, the guide provides insight on how to best approach these different areas, from perspective-taking and conflict resolution to cognitive flexibility and attention control. The guide also discusses the decades of research that link SEL to a range of other positive outcomes, including improved grades, higher standardized test scores, and overall engagement with the learning process.

Take some time to check the guide out and explore it for yourself. As the profile of SEL programming in the field continues expanding, it’s critical to share the tools and information that you need to identify and implement programs and practices that can truly make a difference in the lives of young people everywhere.

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learn more about: Social and Emotional Learning