Issue brief

Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies

This brief identifies evidence-based prevention tools that are low-cost targeted strategies for SEL. These "kernels" of practice are easy to implement and helpful for afterschool and summer programs that would be challenged to bring a full SEL curriculum to scale due to time or financial constraints. For example, to promote emotional self-regulation, staff can help children learn deep breathing, positive self-talk, yoga, and exercises. This resource supports resilience. 

Promoting SEL and Character Skills in Expanded Learning Programs

This issue brief provides an overview of social emotional learning (SEL) and character-building opportunities as well as challenges for expanded learning programs. It includes numerous SEL activities and resources on character education at both the program and organizational level. This resource supports resilience.

Intervention IDEAs for Infants, Toddlers, Children, and Youth Impacted by Opioids

This issue brief offers an overview of risk factors and symptoms associated with opioid abuse and a list of interventions that can improve outcomes for children and teens affected by opioid exposure. Geared for parents, schools, and programs, each entry includes a description of the intervention, examples of associated actions, and quality indicators that can be expected when the intervention is implemented successfully.

Reflections on the Relevance of "Self-Regulation" for Native Communities

This issue brief explores American Indian Alaskan Native (AIAN) perspectives on "self-regulation," a key concept in the emerging social and emotional learning field. The article suggests a more holisitic definition of self-regulation, recognizing that in AIAN communities individual existence is understood as inseparable from family and community. Included are "snap shots" of self-regulation skills and lessons learned at various developmental ages. This resource supports resilience and is relevant to all races.

An Ideal Opportunity: The Role of Afterschool in Social and Emotional Learning

This issue brief provides a succinct overview of social emotional learning and why afterschool is a perfect place to focus on this and to achieve positive developmental outcomes. It includes examples of curriculum and activities for afterschool programs from SC, NC, GA, NH, and NY.

Understanding Gender Identity in Young People: A Briefing Paper for Afterschool Providers

This brief provides a basic, practical overview of gender identity issues and how OST providers can ensure that gender nonconforming youth feel safe and supported. Includes information on gender development terminology, how gender nonconforming youth may act at different ages/stages, challenges typically faced by LGBTQ youth, tips to create more inclusive environments, and an excellent interview with a professor of pediatrics. It also includes a useful set of resources and organizations. This resource supports resilience.

Crosswalk of Early Childhood Mental Health Services

This brief provides a crosswalk of three common community supports that enhance children's social and emotional health: (1) infant and early childhood mental health consultation, (2) pyramid model/practice-based coaching, and (3) mental health treatment. It provides information such as definitions, professional qualifications, and service examples.

Camps Help Make Children Resilient

This issue brief shares seven experiences children need to become resilient including building new relationships, developing a powerful identity, feeling in control, and fostering a sense of one's own culture and that of others.

Ready for Work? How Afterschool Programs Can Support Employability Through Social and Emotional Learning

This brief outlines the "soft skills" that are needed to be successful in the workplace in the 21st century, and how Out-of-School Time (OST) practitioners can be more proactive in supporting the development of these employability skills. This resource may be especially useful to those OST practitioners working with older youth.

Supporting Social and Emotional Development Through Quality Afterschool Programs

This issue brief provides an easy-to-understand overview of the research on the development of social and emotional competencies in youth. It includes work done on how to define the concepts, research on how Out-of-School Time (OST) programs contribute to growth, and recommendations on next steps for practitioners and researchers.