This guide provides detailed and transparent information about commonly used, evidence-based SEL programs. By breaking down each program in detail, this report enables schools, preschool and early childhood education (ECE) providers, and out-of-school time (OST) organizations to see whether and how well individual programs might:
- address their intended SEL goals or needs (e.g., bullying prevention, character education, behavior management, school readiness, etc.);
- align with a specific mission (e.g., promoting physical fitness, community service, the arts, etc.);
- meet the specific social and emotional and behavioral needs of their students (e.g., behavior regulation, conflict resolution, academic motivation, executive function and early learning skills, etc.);
- fit within their schedule or programmatic structure;
- integrate into existing school climate and culture initiatives, positive behavioral supports, and/or trauma-informed systems;
- complement other educational or programmatic goals outside of SEL (e.g., a school looking to boost student literacy scores or make up for the absence of a regular art or music class might consider selecting a program that frequently incorporates reading and writing activities, drawing and creative projects, or music and songs);
- ensure that SEL programming is equitable (i.e., relevant, beneficial, and culturally-appropriate for all students); and
- bridge OST settings and the regular school day.
This type of information can be used by schools, ECE providers, and OST organizations to: (1) select specific programs or strategies that best meet their individual needs; (2) guide planning and goal-setting conversations with school and district leaders, ECE administrators, OST partners, and other stakeholders; and/or (3) re-evaluate the fit and effectiveness of SEL programs and structures already in use.