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Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative

This initiative sought to learn whether and how students would benefit if schools and out-of-school-time programs worked together to foster social and emotional growth.

What we did

Inter-intrapersonal skills. Soft skills. Character development. Behind the different terms is the notion of social and emotional wellbeing. Research has connected development of skills ranging from teamwork to self-control to success later in life.

This initiative supported schools and out-of-school-time programs to work together to help children develop such skills. Wallace funded school-afterschool partnerships in six large urban areas across the U.S. Their work had many aspects. One was to train school and program staffers in matters like the importance of consistency from caring adults. Another was to provide children with formal instruction in social-emotional skills. Yet another was to build positive climates to bolster social-emotional well-being. What did that look like? A range of rituals and routines. Warm morning greetings from adults. Student sharing circles. Calming breathing exercises, and more.

What we learned

In-school and out-of-school-time SEL programs were provided to thousands of K-6th grade children in 76 schools.

To capture findings, the initiative included a multi-year research study by the RAND Corporation. The study involved several methods. They include observation of teaching and other activities; interviews with principals, afterschool program directors, and others; and surveys of staffers. The researchers have also assembled case studies to describe unique, high-quality approaches to SEL in each community.

Our Grantee Partners

The Boston Public Schools

Boston After School & Beyond, Inc.

Dallas Independent School District

Big Thought

Denver Public Schools

Denver Afterschool Alliance

School District of Palm Beach County

Prime Time Palm Beach County

Tacoma Public Schools

Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

Tulsa Public Schools

The Opportunity Project


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