Weaving SEL into your Out-of-School Time Program

Weaving SEL into your Out-of-School Time Program

Are you ready to create an enriching, impactful out-of-school time (OST) program by integrating Social and Emotional Learning? SEL integration can lead to immediate impact and meaningful results. Here’s a tip sheet to guide you on this transformative journey:

  1. Start with Clear Objectives: Define your program’s SEL goals. What specific skills and competencies do you want staff/youth to develop?
  2. Foster a Supportive Environment: Create a safe, inclusive, and welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels valued and respected.
  3. Training and Professional Development: Invest in training for staff to understand and implement SEL effectively. Equip them with tools and resources. 
  4. Curriculum Integration: Infuse SEL principles into your existing curriculum. Align activities with SEL competencies like self-awareness, empathy, and decision-making.
  5. Emphasize SEL Language: Use SEL terminology to help staff and youth identify and express their emotions. Encourage open discussions.
  6. Build Strong Relationships: Cultivate positive relationships among youth and between youth and staff. Trust is the foundation of SEL.
  7. Reflection and Feedback: Implement regular reflection sessions to help staff/youth recognize their emotional growth. Gather feedback for program improvement.
  8. Role Modeling: Model SEL behaviors as staff members. Demonstrate self-regulation, active listening, and empathy.
  9. Inclusivity and Diversity: Acknowledge and celebrate diverse backgrounds and perspectives. SEL is for everyone.
  10. Mindfulness and Self-Care: Teach techniques for stress management and self-care. Encourage youth and staff to prioritize well-being.
  11. Engage Families and Communities: – Involve parents, guardians, and the local community in SEL efforts. Collaboration enhances the impact.
  12. Data Collection and Assessment: Use data to measure the effectiveness of SEL integration. Adjust your approach based on results.
  13. Continuous Improvement: SEL integration is an ongoing process. Adapt and refine your strategies as needed.
  14. Celebrate Success: Recognize and celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement fosters motivation.
  15. Share Stories and Outcomes: Share success stories with your community and stakeholders to showcase the impact of SEL integration.
  16. Stay Informed: Stay updated on the latest research and best practices in SEL. Continue to evolve your program.

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