The Role of Afterschool in Social and Emotional Learning

I was reading this article on the Role of Afterschool in Social and Emotional Learning.

Some key take aways for me from the article:

  1. Afterschool programs are a great opportunity for children and youth to learn new skills, connect with positive adult mentors, and try new things.

  2. Afterschool programs have proven to help children learn problem-solving, collaboration, and respect for others.

  3. Being intentional about designing activities that promote social emotional skills, will help sustain Social Emotionoal Learning in your afterschool program.

  4. Training of staff to implement social emotional learning is critical. We also heard the same message from Visions of Science for Learning Network during the webinar.

  5. Experiential learning and opportunities to create solutions to issues that matter is an effective way of supporting social emotional learning.

  6. Afterschool programs are a great mechanism to supporting youth voice and youth leadership.

Are you interested in implementing activities that support / build social emotional skills in your afterschool program? Do you have examples you can share with others on how you went about doing this? Join the conversation!

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Thanks for the great article! I wanted to share a few ways that we build Social Emotional Learning into our afterschool and summer programs at steamlabs. In particular, with group work.

The article talked about creating relevant and engaging project-based opportunities - this is key! If they are working on something making a difference to their lives and community they are much more engaged. In our kids coding and hands-on making robotics programs, we also make sure that the kids work in groups for their projects. This way they are not only developing empathy for the community they are making their project for, but for the people they are working with. Discussing and defining the challenge with each other develops this.

Another way we use group work for SEL is by not shying away from situations where there is potential for disagreement and conflict. For example, in our Minecraft Coding programs, we set up a group server where as many as 20 kids are all developing an amusement park together. As you can imagine, there are all kinds of disagreements on what to build and where to build it. We don’t tell them what to do, we tell them that this is their community and we help them listen to each other and work it out. By day 2 or 3, everyone cares about each other and their differing priorities and are working together towards common goals.