Grant Highlight: Boys and Girls Club Social Emotional Learning Program Teaches New Skills

SecondSTEP is an evidence-based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program that gives children the tools they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom. Social-emotional skills are an imperative part of development as they help us manage our behavior and emotions and navigate social complexities. With these skills in place, children have the confidence and control needed to learn. The Club’s staff sought this mini-grant through the Seward Community Foundation because they saw a need to develop kid’s social-emotional intelligence in an ever-more complex and stimulating world.

They purchased the curriculum for 1st and 2nd grades but they’ve been including their youngest Club members, the Kindergartners as well. The curriculum is presented twice per week as part of their “Power Hour” academic enrichment timeframe. The lessons are fun and upbeat with plenty of games, activities and media to keep the kids engaged.

Maggie Wilkin’s, Seward Unit Director, says, “It’s been very rewarding to see the kids enjoy the lessons and apply what they’ve been learning in other Club activities. This has been especially helpful during those dreaded transition times between activities. The kids are able to calm themselves and bring their attention to the staff in a timely manner. The staff have made use of many of the lesson tools as well which has enabled us to make smoother transitions and better handle conflict resolutions. This has all culminated in an even happier and healthier Club environment.”

“None of this would have been possible without the Seward Community Foundation’s generous grant. We are so grateful to you all for all that you do. Your positive influences radiate throughout our close-knit community. Thank you so much!”