Press Releases

Committee for Children to Launch Highly Anticipated Out-of-School-Time SEL Program


CONTACT: Shauna McBride,, 206-612-8718

New program includes funding support from The Wallace Foundation

SEATTLE – Committee for Children (CFC) announced today that it is creating a new social-emotional learning (SEL) program for after-school care, summer camps, and other learning environments beyond the classroom, through support provided by The Wallace Foundation. A grant of $836,500 from Wallace will contribute to CFC’s efforts to launch an out-of-school-time (OST) adaptation of their award-winning Second Step program in 2020.

“We’re extremely thankful to The Wallace Foundation for this important opportunity to address the need for social and emotional learning in out-of-school settings,” said Joan Cole Duffell, Committee for Children’s executive director. “Though our organization reaches millions of children annually with research-based SEL curricula taught in schools across the US and around the world, we know that children’s social-emotional development is enriched far beyond the classroom. For SEL to make its greatest impact, this vital area of learning should take place in all facets of a child’s life. We have committed ourselves to positively transforming the social-emotional well-being of 100 million children annually by 2028, and this investment in out-of-school time programming will be integral to reaching that goal.”

CFC’s research-based Second Step program currently reaches 14 million children annually, from preschoolers to middle schoolers. In recent years, the demand for an OST program has grown as many OST providers have adapted the program—which is designed for school settings—to support children’s social-emotional development out of school. Although this interest has been encouraging, CFC knows that out-of-school-time contexts differ meaningfully from school contexts and demand different instructional approaches. To meet these context-specific needs and catalyze broad impact, the organization is developing a program that will focus on research-based activities, group discussion, games, and projects to support SEL in OST environments.

To ensure the new out-of-school-time SEL curriculum can meet the needs of OST settings, CFC will use The Wallace Foundation grant to focus on three key activities:

  • OST activities differentiated by children’s developmental levels
  • Professional development for OST facilitators
  • Content designed to support culturally relevant and responsive teaching

Based in New York City, The Wallace Foundation is a philanthropy working nationally to answer important questions that, if solved, could help strengthen practices and policies within a field. Their mission is to foster improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone. The organization has made significant investments in SEL through their Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI), a six-year initiative to build partnerships between school districts and out-of-school-time intermediaries for the development of children’s social-emotional skills.

“Based on what we have learned to date in PSELI, it has become clear there is a dearth of evidence-based SEL curricular supports available for out-of-school-time providers,” said Gigi Antoni, director of learning and enrichment at The Wallace Foundation. “We believe that CFC is well positioned to help fill this gap by creating an SEL-specific OST program that meets the needs of this learning environment.”

The new OST program will launch during the 2020-2021 school year and will support mixed-age settings from Kindergarten through Grade 5. For more information on the program’s launch, and to sign up to participate in online surveys, focus groups, or user testing of the program in development, please visit

About Committee for Children

Committee for Children is a nonprofit on a mission to ensure children everywhere can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically. Best known for our innovative social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula that blend research and rigor with intuitive program design, we empower children and their adults with skills that help them realize their goals in the classroom and throughout their lives. Since 1979, we’ve been connecting experts in the field to share experiences and advance the cause of educating the whole child. A force in advocacy, we’re helping pass policies and legislation that place importance on creating safe and supportive learning environments. Today, our programs reach more than 14 million children in over 70 countries worldwide. By lifting up children today, we’re helping them create a safe and positive society for the future. Learn more at

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About The Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for children. The Foundation maintains an online library of lessons at about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at strengthening educational leadership to improve student achievement; helping disadvantaged students gain more time for learning through summer learning and through the effective use of additional learning time during the school day and year; enhancing out-of-school-time opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts.