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Charleston, S.C., Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WINGS for Kids, a leader and expert in social emotional learning (SEL) in the afterschool field, announced today a partnership with Laurens County School District 55 in Laurens, S.C., to pilot an in-school SEL training and professional development program for classroom educators in all six elementary schools in the district. The program is funded by three-year, $500,000 support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The program builds teacher capacity around SEL through innovative training models that build social emotional skills—such as empathy, responsible decision-making, and self-awareness—in adults, who can then model and integrate them into their interactions with children. At each participating school, WINGS will provide intensive teacher professional development based on their proven approach to SEL. The training focuses on the critical step of helping educators understand and hone their own social emotional skills so they can incorporate these practices into their teaching—and support a school culture and climate where SEL can thrive both during and beyond school hours.
“Research tells us that SEL is critical to the success of all kids, especially those from vulnerable communities and who face significant challenges outside of school,” said Bridget Laird, chief executive officer of WINGS. “We also know that teachers understand the importance of SEL—and are eager to receive training to effectively integrate it in their classrooms. We are grateful for the support of the Kellogg Foundation to extend the reach of WINGS and SEL to Laurens, and to serve more kids and educators in evidence-based and innovative ways.”
There is a deep connection between the social emotional skills WINGS kids learn during the program and how it influences their behavior in the classroom. External evaluations, including a recent randomized control trial (RCT) study, show that WINGS kids have better behavior, are more likely to exhibit empathy, show improved executive function, and have stronger self-management skills than kids in the same classrooms who do not participate in WINGS.
A 2017 survey of 900 principals found that 98 percent of school leaders believe social emotional skills should be taught to all students. However, six in 10 principals also believe teachers lack the training necessary to support students’ SEL needs. By supporting adults in developing their own social and emotional skills and creating a strong SEL culture, WINGS and trained educators can help kids build their inner strength and better cope with trauma.
WINGS currently serves more than 1,700 kids in grades K-5 in California, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina through direct-service and partnership models. Laurens County School District 55, located 40 miles southeast of Greenville, S.C., serves more than 5,900 students in nine schools.
To learn more about WINGS for Kids and the positive impact of SEL, please visit their website.
About WINGS for Kids
WINGS for Kids is a nonprofit education program that equips at-risk kids with the skills they need to succeed in school, stay in school, and thrive in life. WINGS’ evidence-based approach combines a comprehensive social emotional learning curriculum, engaging afterschool programming, and high-quality training and professional development for practitioners and adults. As a result, the program fosters the mindset, skills, and confidence children need to behave well, make good decisions, and build healthy relationships.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
Shaina Cook 202-266-4706 firstname.lastname@example.org