We know that social-emotional learning (SEL) empowers students with abilities that directly impact not only their academic lives, but their success and happiness as adults.

We live in a stressful world, and our nation’s children and young adults are coping with new and prevalent emotional realities we can’t ignore. Research indicates that when educators work to teach learners how to alleviate and manage stress, students become more likely to learn deeply, avoid negative behaviors and achieve successful outcomes with long-term effects. Social-emotional learning (SEL) practices are the focus of copious research studies and it’s a good thing they are because SEL is needed more than ever.

Birth to school age is the period of greatest growth and development. The early childhood years are not only a time for taking first steps or for saying first words. They are also when, through their relationships with others, children are building expectations about their world and the people in it.

Students spend most of their time in school, so to ignore their social-emotional learning needs for the 30+ hours a week they spend in classrooms would be a waste of precious developmental learning time. School is also the place where students encounter the bulk of their social interactions, challenges, and opportunities for personal growth. Certainly, schools and teachers have been providing way more than academic learning for decades. However, research shows that by providing consistent, purposeful, and robust SEL programs, students can benefit in multiple ways.

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