The Wallace Foundation recently launched a four-year initiative bringing together urban school districts and out-of-school-time organizations to help children in six communities gain greater opportunities for social and emotional learning (SEL) and to better understand and generate lessons on how schools and out-of-school-time providers can align and improve those opportunities.
A growing body of research has linked social and emotional learning to success in school, career and life. However, it is not yet known how school and afterschool experiences can be strengthened, aligned and delivered in real-world, urban settings to help children develop these skills. The new initiative will explore how this kind of cross-sector alignment may benefit children in participating communities and ultimately lead to knowledge that can be applied to the broader field.
Participating communities will receive a range of supports beyond financial resources, including inclusion in a professional learning community, regular convenings with other cities in the initiative, supports to integrate and apply SEL data to continuous improvement systems, communications counsel, and other technical assistance provided by national experts such as the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the Forum – including our Weikart Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality – and others.