Social and Emotional Learning Impact Initiative
Our priority has always been to help our Members share a common understanding around what a thriving community for youth looks like in Winnipeg. Our network prides itself in cultivating many unique visions for our city's youth and supporting a wide range of needs. As a collective that also envisions scaleable impacts, it is equally important for us to align along some positive youth development goals.
Coming together and recognizing that social and emotional learning (SEL) and holistic youth development has become an increasing priority across the populations we work with was our first step. The next step has been making a measurable impact within youth-serving programs and on their participants by identifying the current developmental barriers and leveraging the right resources.
Why SEL outside of school?
The types of out-of-school time spaces and programming delivered by our Members are increasingly understood as ideal opportunities for youth SEL development (see here).
They are places where participants feel comfortable with positive role-models, are able to try new things and master skills, and have the freedom to express themselves alongside both link-minded and different peer groups.
As they grow, youth with strong SEL skills are more university/college and career-ready, experience better mental health and social functioning, and report a greater sense of overall well-being (from hello insight).
A recent meta-analysis by CASEL indicates that SEL programming can have a positive impact up to 18 years later on academics, conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use (see here).
5 Core SEL Capacites
YAA recognizes the following core SEL capacities in our Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework.
All youth can grow in each of these!
The work our network focuses on is relational first and foremost. These safe and supportive spaces, where youth can develop positive bonds with other peers and adults, are the foundation for protective factors that can last a lifetime.