Committee for Children Blog

Second Step Social-Emotional Learning for Out-of-School Time Is Under Development

out-of school-time (OST) social-emotional learning

Committee for Children is excited to announce that we’re developing a social-emotional learning (SEL) program for after-school settings, summer camps, and other out-of-school time contexts. The program will support children from Kindergarten through Grade 5 by providing engaging resources and age-appropriate activities that support children’s social-emotional development through self-regulation, social skills, and community building.

Programming that supports children’s social-emotional development is a natural, research-based fit for out-of-school time (OST) settings. OST providers provide a “third space” for children to learn and develop. There they tend to focus on building strong relationships and have the flexibility to engage kids in active, student-centered learning[1], all of which learning science has identified as key supports for learning.[2] Decades of research reveal that high-quality SEL programming in OST environments leads to improvements in children’s self-perceptions, school bonding, and positive social behaviors, as well as reductions in conduct problems; and significant increases in achievement test scores and grades.[3]

Communities across the nation are increasingly acknowledging their power to collaboratively support children’s SEL. Committee for Children Executive Director Joan Cole Duffell notes: “More and more, school districts are committed to addressing the whole child with research-based programs like Second Step, and along with that they are asking for reinforcement of Second Step in after-school and camp settings. This program will fulfill that need and will offer a research-based social-emotional learning program for any out-of-school time provider, whether or not Second Step or another evidence-based program is being taught during the school day.”

To develop the program, researchers, educational designers, and instructional designers at Committee for Children are field testing and piloting content with OST sites and schools across the country. Because Committee for Children understands there is a wide variety of settings represented in the OST category, we’re collaborating with a diverse set of organizations and leaders to create a program that can be delivered in as many settings as possible.

We expect the new Out-of-School Time SEL program to be available for purchase during the 2020–2021 school year. To receive updates as samples and materials become available in the coming months, or to express an interest in user testing, please join our mailing list at

[1] Malone, H. J. & Donahue, T. (2018) The growing out-of-school time field: Past, present, and future. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

[2] Charlot, J., Leck, C., & Saxberg, B. (2018). Designing for learning: A primer on key insights from the science of learning and development. Transcend, Inc.

[3] Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., & Pachan, M. (2010). A meta-analysis of after-school programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in children and adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology. 45 (3-4) 294-309.