Second Step International Partners Meet to Improve School Climates

July 21, 2011

SEATTLE—Local nonprofit Committee for Children hosted a meeting in Manchester, England, last week of their international partners that have translated and adapted their Second Step curriculum, which teaches social-emotional skills to children from preschool through eighth grade.

The Second Step program is taught in 26 countries around the world, from Chile and Germany to Turkey and Japan. And despite their diverse cultures and languages, most of Committee for Children's international partners choose the Second Step curriculum because it is a universal program that addresses the issues their students and teachers are facing, such as violence, bullying, and the resulting classroom disruption.

“Educators the world over want more peaceful classrooms, because that helps them teach academic subjects,” says Dr. Andreas Schick, co-managing director of the Prevention Center Heidelberg (Germany), who attended the consortium meeting. “The Second Step program verifiably supports these efforts. That's why we love it. This program should reach the whole globe, because in the end, we're all working toward the same goal: creating a safe world where our children can unfold their unique potential.”

“Our international partners confirm the fact that the Second Step program is truly universal. When we all get together, we find that we face the same issues, so we can problem-solve together: How do we reduce bullying in our schools? What's the best business model to use? How do we support our educators?” says Joan Duffell, Committee for Children's executive director.

A major focus of the international consortium, which was Committee for Children's eighth, was the unveiling of the fourth edition of the Second Step program for kindergarten through grade 5 and a brand-new program for early learning. All levels of the new Second Step program focus on empathy, emotion management, and problem solving, as well as skills for learning, such as listening, following directions, and ignoring distractions.