Professional Development

NAA publishes fresh, new content every week covering a wide variety of topics related to the field of aftershool. Be sure to check in regularly.

A New SEL Field Guide

An innovative guide called "Preparing Youth to Thrive: Promising Practices in Social & Emotional Learning" has been launched in an effort to help afterschool programs across the country bring social and emotional skill development to the youth they serve.

When preparing this guide, the Susan Crown Exchange (SEC) and the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality studied eight schools with proven commitment to social and emotional learning (SEL). These schools focus on SEL while working with one of the hardest populations to reach: at-risk adolescents.Your afterschool program could benefit from the findings of this thorough research.

The question at hand was, Why are these programs so effective? The answer? Youth participants develop social and emotional skills when they receive the appropriate support, curriculum and guidance.

The new guide demonstrates how out-of-school programs can equip teens with valuable social and emotional skills. The guide also includes firsthand accounts by staff and youth explaining how these programs are making a difference. These six skill areas were lauded as key to social growth: management, empathy, teamwork, responsibility, initiative, problem solving.

Social and emotional skills are critical to life satisfaction and success. Today's youth must be given the opportunity to learn and develop these important skills. This new guide provides guidance for educators and counselors who want to replicate similar practices in their own organizations.

For more information, visit Preparing Youth to Thrive

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