Blog Post

Raising the Conversation around Social Emotional Learning Skills

From Allison Williams, Sr. Vice President, Programs, Wyman

As a nation, we have recognized the importance of teaching our children their ABC’s and 123’s. We know it doesn’t just happen in a vacuum. Young people need effective instruction, settings and environments that encourage and support curiosity and learning, opportunities to practice and increase their skills, and relevant and meaningful ways to apply them. We have created systems to support academic skills from early childhood through post-secondary.

Increasingly, conversation is turning to include not just ABC’s and 123’s, but also SEL – social emotional learning. Just like literacy and math, skills such as empathy, teamwork, responsibility, and emotional management do not develop in a vacuum. Also like literacy and math, effective instruction, supportive settings, and opportunities to practice and apply are required. Research is demonstrating the importance of these skills both as an outcome themselves, as well as a driver of improved academic skills. These skills are also described by employers and institutions of higher education as critical to young adult success.

Wyman has been a proud partner in the Susan Crown Exchange Social Emotional Learning Challenge. This innovative approach is elevating the importance of social emotional learning skills, adding to the growing body of research in this area, and clarifying specific methods adults can use in their everyday work with young people to develop these skills. At Wyman, we envision communities in which every adult who interacts with young people in an education, recreation, faith-based, health, community, sports, leadership, or arts setting knows their role in supporting the development of social emotional learning skills. We envision communities in which every young person has the social and emotional skills necessary to maintain healthy relationships, contribute to their communities, and succeed in education and employment. Thanks to the Susan Crown Exchange, we have more tools and resources to make this a reality. ABC’s…123’s…SEL.

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