Ready News: March 21, 2019

The Forum’s Karen Pittman Recently Featured in Youth Today In a recent story in Youth Today, “Aspen Report Marks Pivotal Moment For Child Welfare: Youth Development Leader,” the Forum’s CEO and co-founder Karen Pittman reflected on her role in the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development and her leadership of its Youth Development Working Group. The Commission recently concluded its work with the release of its final report, titled “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope.”

Read Karen’s interview.

Preparing Children to Thrive: Standards for Social and Emotional Learning Practices in School-Age Settings

A new guide from the Forum and its David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, “Preparing Children to Thrive: Standards for Social and Emotional Learning Practices in School-Age Settings,” is designed to help organizational and program leaders see clearly what social and emotional learning (SEL) among children (ages 5-13) would look like and feel like in real program settings. The guide also draws attention to promising adult practices for building SEL skills among children, along with curriculum features at an organizational level that support implementation of SEL programs. This guide, and the study that led to it, were designed to complement a previous effort, Preparing Youth to Thrive (2016), which focused on developing SEL standards and indicators for adolescents from the ground up with the help of eight exemplary programs around the country. The Forum developed SEL concepts in six broad domains: Emotion Management, Empathy, Teamwork, Initiative, Responsibility, and Problem Solving. The release of Preparing Youth to Thrive prompted a critical question: can the standards and indicators that were developed for adolescents be used in work with younger children? This new guide explores that question.

Read the guide.

SEL for Kids Begins With Adults

Research suggests structured, strengths-based afterschool programs that are coordinated with schools and communities and staffed with knowledgeable and competent adults are ideal settings to promote positive experiences and youth social and emotional development. In the last decade, the field of education-during the day and in afterschool-has witnessed an increase in attention to the social and emotional learning (SEL) process. While afterschool professionals have recognized the value of SEL and the role they can play for some time-and may already be engaged in practices supporting social and emotional development-there’s an increased awareness of and attention to intentional SEL practices, making them more likely to be accessible to all youth, in and out of school. In 2015, the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) conducted a survey to learn more about afterschool SEL practices and professional development needs. Findings suggested that while afterschool professionals value and implement SEL practice, many do not feel knowledgeable talking about SEL. In addition, respondents emphasized their need for additional SEL training, practice and activity ideas. Read the remainder of this recent NAA article featuring research from the Forum’s David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.

Ready by 21 National Meeting Room Block Ending Soon

The eighth annual Ready by 21 National Meeting will begin just five weeks from now! We hope to see all of you in Seattle, Washington for the premier convening of the many sectors and leadership bodies who care about young people. The agenda has taken shape, and over 50 information-filled workshops will be offered over the course of April 23-25 to help you accelerate your work and bring precision to your passion for changing the odds for children and youth. Please note that the hotel room block fends soon, on Tuesday, April 2. We encourage you to register and make your travel plans today.

Register now.

Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time: Foundations and Futures

“It is now time to demonstrate the value of practitioners by supporting efforts to codify ‘what and how’ lessons to create a field of adult practice that focuses on modeling, teaching and enabling social and emotional development through active reflection and engagement.” Karen Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum, charges us to move beyond demonstrating the value of “where” and “when” in out-of-school time settings in a recent publication of the Information Age Publishing (IAP) series, “Current Issues in Out-of-School Time.” This volume contains chapters from experts in the field, including staff from the Forum’s Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, as well as a closing commentary from Karen Pittman, and focuses on social and emotional learning from a variety of perspectives to offer a clear framing of SEL in relation to other OST concepts and initiatives.

Learn more and read the full volume.