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Grant From the New York Life Foundation Will Support SEL in ExpandED Schools

Laura Larimer

Laura Larimer is the Senior Development Officer at ExpandED Schools.

“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of a true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

What Dr. King understood then, and what current research confirms, is that the development of social-emotional skills is just as important as the development of academic skills. Thanks to a three-year, $1 million grant from the New York Life Foundation, we are launching an initiative to support social-emotional learning (SEL) programs across the expanded school day, recognizing the importance of collaboration between schools and their community partners in helping students reach their highest potential.

Social-emotional skills include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and growth mindset, to name a few, and they are necessary for success throughout life – be it in the classroom, the workplace or in a family setting.

Studies show that SEL programs can have a positive impact on school climate and promote a host of academic, social and emotional benefits for students, including an average 11-percentile point increase on achievement scores. These positive impacts are particularly important for middle school students, as they prepare for the transition from childhood to young adulthood.

This grant will allow us to work with eight middle schools and their expanded learning time partners to support students’ social and emotional development, and will ultimately support school-community partners in three cities, reaching 2,000 students. The four school-community partner teams in New York City are: PS 188 The Island School & Educational Alliance, FDA V Middle School & BELL, Queens United Middle School & Child Center of New York, and Village Academy & the YMCA. The teams kicked off the initiative by participating in training on RULER, an evidence-based approach developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence that focuses on emotional intelligence.

“Our students do not all come into school with the socio-emotional understanding needed for today's competitive global marketplace. As middle schoolers, they are also learning who they are and deciding who they want to be,” said Dena Zamore, Principal at Frederick Douglass Academy V. “With a strong SEL program, we can support students to define themselves as scholars worthy and able to be lifelong learners and earners with strong interpersonal skills and a desire to be successful.”

We are proud to partner with the New York Life Foundation and we share their conviction that in order to improve a child’s educational outcome, we must look at the whole child. This is the third grant the New York Life Foundation has awarded to ExpandED Schools.



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