Committee for Children Blog

Committee for Children and CASEL Host Briefing for Congress


Educators are finding that the best way to impart social-emotional skills to students is by teaching evidence-based programs in school. To that end, nonprofits Committee for Children of Seattle and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) of Chicago hosted a congressional briefing that focused on effective social-emotional learning programs in all stages of the educational system, from preschool through college.

The briefing, titled “Social and Emotional Learning: Essential Skills for Success in School and Life,” took place on Capitol Hill today.

In a complex and increasingly challenging world, children need every competitive advantage they can get. In addition to academic skills such as reading and math, students must also develop social and emotional competencies like self-control, problem-solving, and the ability to work cooperatively with others. According to educators and researchers who presented evidence to support these findings in a congressional briefing today, these skills will help students succeed not only in school but in future roles as citizens, employees, managers, parents, volunteers, and entrepreneurs.

The speakers were Joan Cole Duffell, Executive Director of Committee for Children; Maurice Elias, PhD, Director of Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Janice Deguchi, Executive Director of Denise Louie Education Center; and Keeth Matheny, Teacher at Austin High School. Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) gave the opening remarks.

Moderating the briefing was Tim Shriver, PhD, Chairman of Special Olympics and Board Chair of CASEL, who said, “I have long believed that social-emotional learning is an essential part of the educational process. Moderating today’s panel was an honor, and our hope is that this effort results in greater support for SEL instruction in schools throughout the U.S.”

Quotes from the briefing have been posted via live Twitter feed at #SELBriefing. And the video can be viewed in its entirety and in clips here.