Committee for Children Blog

Navigating 2020 with the Help of Social-Emotional Learning

girl at laptop

If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past 12 months, it’s how fundamental social-emotional learning (SEL) is to helping communities navigate sudden changes and other hardships. Despite the shifting landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sociopolitical turmoil of 2020, Committee for Children’s Second Step® teams rose to support district administrators, school leaders, educators, and students when they needed it most. This year, we released a COVID-19 response page, two new products, a field-test module to assist educators as they returned to school, and more. Here are three highlights from 2020.

Second Step® Out-of-School Time

In July, we launched Second Step Out-of-School Time, a program that builds and strengthens SEL skills in after-school programs and other out-of-school environments. The program engages children from Kindergarten through Grade 5 in activities that support their social-emotional development with a mixture of explicit instructions and implicit learning.

Second Step® Middle School

We released our new-and-improved Second Step Middle School this fall. The program’s updates are based on client feedback and strengthen areas such as grade-level differentiation and instructional design to enhance the client experience. Second Step Middle School now also includes a new unit to help students explore how intersectional identities are related to bullying and harassment, as well as what they can do to challenge these negative behaviors.

Second Step® SEL for Adults

Throughout 2020, we continued to develop and test our upcoming Second Step SEL for Adults program, which is expected to launch in 2021. We knew how crucial having social-emotional supports would be in helping educators and school staff adjust to pandemic-related school closures and other uncertainties, so we also released a free, limited-term Resilience During Crisis Module based on Second Step SEL for Adults. As of mid-November, more than 14,000 users have registered to access the module since it launched in August.  

Looking back on our accomplishments this past year, we’re feeling rejuvenated in our mission. We’re heading into 2021 fueled by our passion to support educators as they grow students’ social-emotional skills and help children thrive through whatever ups and down the new year may bring.