Students and Schools

Promoting Academic Achievement

Social-emotional learning (SEL) helps improve kids’ academic performance, curtail bullying, reduce dropout rates, and build character.

Well-implemented SEL programs positively affect students’ success in school. Studies show that social-emotional skills—such as problem-solving, self-regulation, impulse control, and empathy—help improve academics, reduce negative social behaviors like bullying, and create positive classroom climates.

Social-emotional skills also help kids successfully manage everyday life. They help students focus, make good decisions, and become supportive members of their community well beyond school.

Success Stories

Thousands of schools around the world and more than 26.9 million children benefit from Second Step® programs each year.

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What SEL Is, Why It Matters

See why learning social-emotional skills is just as important as learning reading, writing, and math. Watch how early and continued SEL instruction can have long-lasting benefits for kids and adults.

Empowering Educators

Second Step programs give teachers the resources they need to help students recognize and manage their emotions, to cope with problems that may arise, and to focus on their lessons.

Research for SEL Is Key

Research shows how social-emotional education has a positive, lasting impact in children's lives in and out of school.

When Districts Support and Integrate SEL

American Institutes for Research

“Since research has demonstrated the importance of social and emotional competencies for success in school and in life, educators and researchers have worked together to intervene and develop students’ social and emotional competencies.”

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How Learning Happens: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The Aspen Institute

“Effectively weaving social, emotional, and academic components into the fabric of a school helps students remain motivated to develop skills to navigate and succeed within their learning communities and to serve as responsible, contributing members of society.”

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Key Insights from the Collaborating District Initiative

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

“Systemic SEL is not a siloed approach or standalone program, but a new way of doing business. [It's] not a separate priority but is integrated into core functions such as academics, professional development, and equity.”

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