Press Releases

The Imagine Neighborhood™ Podcast Wins American Library Association’s Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award


SEATTLE—The American Library Association (ALA) today named Committee for Children as the 2021 recipient of the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award for its family podcast, The Imagine Neighborhood. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA, announced the award during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, held virtually January 22–26.

“Between the COVID-19 pandemic, deep political divisions in our nation, and powerful calls for racial justice, our society has faced overwhelming challenges in the last year that highlight the critical need for more avant-garde approaches to social-emotional learning,” said Mia Doces, vice president of innovation at Committee for Children and executive producer of the podcast. “We’re thrilled to receive this honor from the American Library Association in recognition of the many opportunities The Imagine Neighborhood creates for adults and children to connect with one another in meaningful ways.”

The Imagine Neighborhood is built on the framework of Committee for Children’s award-winning Second Step® social-emotional learning (SEL) programs. Hosted by Scotty Iseri, each episode features lively characters and fun, original stories to help children and adults spark important conversations about growing up and develop foundational social-emotional skills.

“The committee found The Imagine Neighborhood exceptional for its delightful storytelling backed by rigorous social-emotional learning standards, and for providing children and grown-ups opportunities to share in meaningful media experiences together,” said Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award Committee Chair Madeline K. Walton-Hadlock.

“We’re overjoyed to be the first podcast to receive this award,” said Iseri. “Storytelling has always been a powerful way for us to connect with one another and build children’s knowledge of the world. After the hardships of 2020, more and more families have turned to screen-free media like The Imagine Neighborhood to bring their loved ones together even when they’re physically distanced. We’re honored that families include our stories in their lives and are humbled to receive this recognition and join such a renowned cohort of storytellers.”

The Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award is given to the producer of the most distinguished digital media for an early learning audience produced in the United States during the preceding year. Award and Honor recipients will receive their awards in Chicago during the ALA Annual Conference in June. For more information on the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit

Kids and grown-ups can listen to The Imagine Neighborhood at or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or anywhere podcasts are found.


About Committee for Children

Committee for Children is on a mission to ensure children everywhere can thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. Best known for our innovative social-emotional learning programs that blend research and rigor with intuitive design, we empower children and 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. We also help pass policies and legislation that place importance on creating safe and supportive learning environments. Today our programs reach more than 16.5 million children in 34 percent of all US elementary schools. By lifting up children today, we’re helping them create a safe and positive society for the future. Learn more at

About the Association for Library Service to Children

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers, and educational faculty, ALSC members are committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at

Media Contacts

Shauna McBride

Vice President, Public Relations and Communications, Committee for Children, 206-612-8718

M’Bilia Meekers

Senior Public Relations Specialist, Committee for Children, 206-438-6541