News: Wyman and Fellow Leaders Launch Social and Emotional Learning Field Guide

Report Shares Best Practices for Equipping Adolescents with Social and Emotional Skills

St. Louis, MO [Jan. 25, 2016] – In conjunction with Chicago’s Susan Crown Exchange (SCE), Wyman is pleased to announce the release of a one-of-a-kind field guide called Preparing Youth to Thrive: Promising Practices in Social and Emotional Learning. A product of collaboration between SCE, eight youth-focused programs across the nation, and the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, the piece sheds light on how afterschool programs can equip teens with valuable social and emotional skills.

Wyman was selected from a pool of over 250 youth organizations across the country to participate in a nationwide study on the value of social and emotional learning (SEL). Best practices from Wyman’s nationally recognized Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) and seven other programs provided insights to help other organizations replicate strategies in their own organizations.

“As a nation, we have recognized the importance of teaching our children their ABC’s and 123’s, and we have created systems to support the building of these skills from early childhood through post-secondary education,” said Allison Williams, Wyman’s Senior Vice President of Programs. “And, just like literacy and math, social emotional skills do not develop in a vacuum. At Wyman, we envision communities in which every adult who interacts with young people knows their role in supporting the development of social emotional skills. Thanks to this collaboration, organizations across the country will have access to tools and resources to help communities make this a reality.”

The field guide centers around six key SEL domains: emotion management, empathy, teamwork, responsibility, initiative and problem solving. By supplying readers with narrative-driven, evidence-based tools and insights, the guide supports expert practitioners and novices alike in being more intentional about social and emotional skill building and assessment.

“An emerging body of research from economics to neuroscience indicates that these social and emotional skills are crucial to success in the 21st century,” said Susan Crown, Chairman and Founder of SCE. “As youth transition into adulthood, they rely on more than traditional cognitive intelligence alone in order to achieve. Our hope is that other youth-focused out-of-school programs all across the country will implement this research and help equip the rising generation with the skills they need to succeed.”

Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program is evidence-based, and empowers teens from sixth through twelfth grade to build social emotional skills necessary to succeed in learning, work and life. Caring and highly trained adult facilitators guide students through a unique combination of engaging curriculum and experiential community service learning opportunities that help teens build their strengths in a safe and welcoming space. TOP has helped teens lower their risk of academic failure, dropout, teen pregnancy and school suspension by more than 50 percent.

Wyman joined the following out-of-school programs to provide research for the field guide:

Visit Preparing Youth to Thrive: Promising Practices for Social & Emotional Learning to download the field guide, and learn more.

About the Susan Crown Exchange
Susan Crown Exchange (SCE) is a Chicago-based foundation invested in shaping an ecosystem of anytime, anywhere learning to prepare youth to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing and highly-connected world. Through three primary programs – digital learning, social and emotional learning, and catalyst grants – SCE connects talent and innovation with forces for positive change. SCE’s exchange model leverages up-to-date research, best practices, grant-making, and innovative programming to design, evaluate, and promote high-quality learning experiences for young people beyond the classroom, particularly youth from underserved communities.

About the David P. Weikart Center for Youth and Program Quality
The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality is an organization focused on improving the quality of services available from expanded learning systems and settings. The Weikart Center’s core product and services line, the evidence-based Youth Program Quality Intervention, is the leading performance management and measurement intervention in the expanded learning field and is currently used by over 105 systems at over 4,000 expanded learning program sites. The Weikart Center has core competencies in the areas of positive youth development, adult learning, measurement, knowledge management, technical assistance and lower stakes accountability policy.

About Wyman
Wyman, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit and proud member of the United Way, partners with communities to provide teens with the support and opportunities they need to thrive in life. Originally founded in 1898, Wyman’s mission is to enable teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities.

Media Contact:
Kristin Gumper
Director, Communication & External Affairs