ExpandED Schools and Every Hour Counts have been working to apply an equity lens to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). In 2016, with generous support from the New York Life Foundation, ExpandED and Every Hour Counts launched the National SEL Demonstration Initiative with the aim of promoting and disseminating SEL practices with an embedded equity lens to partners across the country. To date, the initiative has delivered learning opportunities to more than 300 educators, reaching over 4,000 middle school students in seven cities: Dallas, TX; Madison, WI; Omaha, NE; Providence, RI; Houston, TX; Tulsa, OK; and New York City, NY.
This Social and Emotional Learning Toolkit draws from winning strategies identified and put to use by the following partnering organizations who are members of Every Hour Counts: Dallas Afterschool, Madison Out of School Time (MOST), Collective for Youth, Providence After School Alliance (PASA) and ExpandED Schools.
Ranging from icebreakers that build community in a virtual setting to suggested strategic plans that embed racial equity and metrics for success, this toolkit is designed to provide tools and strategies toward:
- Advancing educational equity by integrating policy and practices that could lead to systemic change.
- Increasing opportunities for youth agency and family engagement through locally designed innovative approaches.
- Strengthening SEL in the expanded-learning field nationally by growing our learning community and disseminating best practices.
We will regularly update this toolkit as our collaborative work continues. It is our hope that in sharing these tools and best practices we can help leaders in the field create programs and activities that strengthen community connections and promote a sense of belonging for all young people.