Begin With A Check In:


Children come into the classrooms with many barriers for learning. They might be hungry, hurt or just plain afraid. They might not be having a stable home, their parents might be fighting – the reasons might be plenty.

The “Check In” process makes sure the child knows they’re valued for just being themselves. And it boosts their confidence to try to be a good version of themselves. It’s like saying to them, “I believe in you.” If you can spend two minutes to show them how excited you’re to see them and to have them in your life, it makes a whale of a difference.

Ask them what their goals for today are. It gives them a chance to find out what they’re good at and what they can do better tomorrow. It helps them change their own opinion about themselves.



21 Ways To Support SEL In Classrooms:


1. Start the day with a check-in.
2. Use story time for teachable moments.
3. Work in partnerships.
4. Teach them how to work in a group.
5. Nurture a culture of kindness.
6. Give them new words to say.
7. Set up a Peace Place.
8. Teach your kids how to manage conflict with peer mediation.
9. Use anchor charts to teach social-emotional skills.
10. Practice lots of role-play.
11. Allow for talk time.
12. Play games to build community.
13. Buddy up with an older or younger class.
14. Build community with teams.
15. Teach them to monitor their own progress.
16. Hold class meetings.
17. Make space for reflective writing.
18. Encourage expression through art.
19. Assign interview projects.
20. Put them to work.
21. End each day with a checkout.



Return on Investment (ROI) of SECD: 


In 2015, a report from Columbia University found that SEL interventions, including 4 Rs, Positive Action, Second Step and Social and Emotional Training (Sweden), returned an average of $11 for every $1 spent.
Source: Clive Belfield C., Bowden B., Klapp A., Levin H., Shand R., Zander S. (2015). The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning, Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education Teachers College, Columbia University.


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Why is STEAM Important?

In the context of learning, the disciplines of STEM interlaced with the creativity and imagination of art is the reason why tough academic concepts are easy to remember. That’s why we’re not just STEM, we’re STEAM.

48% of companies now offer job-oriented STEM training for employees. Only 33% of GenZ children are currently enrolled in any STEM program within or outside of school systems.

To keep up with the increasing demand of such programs, the Public-school system in Georgia is racing to teach Computer Science programs by 2024. The training gap is so high in STEM education that our AP Comp Science classes for high schoolers are always in high demand.

“Coders, people who know how to code, only make one third of 1% of the human population on earth.” – Source: Global Developer Population & Demographic 2019.

Coding is the decision-making tool with which we communicate with a computing device. Parents, are you ready to raise 21st Century computational thinkers, decision makers and coders? 

We Develop 21st Century Critical Thinkers

Ed Tech Programs like ours can teach Technology Proficiency as a Core Life Skill:

Nearly 65% of teachers surveyed say they use digital learning tools to teach every day, and 57% of students say they use them to learn every day.
Source: Survey conducted by Newschools.org on Use of Ed Tech in schools.

This is how we, at FutureSTRONG Academy, develop the next generation of 21st Century Critical Thinkers:


  • We place them in social conversations, settings and experiences that foster critical thinking.
  • We encourage them to be open minded towards new learning environments.
  • We help them engage in reflective and divergent thinking.
  • We ask them to question the information that’s being read, heard or seen.
  • We help them see facts to judge the value of ideas and solutions.
  • We foster group engagement by using diverse ideas and points of views to solve problems.
  • We encourage them to analyze, evaluate and reason with different options.


Proficiency in arts like music are linked to a set of cognitive skills that are highly predictive of success in school and in life.
Sources: Diamon, 2014; Zelazo, Blair, & Willoughby, 2016; Zhao & Kuhl, 2016

Why is Social, Emotional

and Character Development Important?

Skills such as growth mindset (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007), sense of belonging (Allen, Kern, & Vella-Broderick, 2016a; Allen, Vella-Broderick, & Walters, 2016b), and grit (Duckworth & Quinn, 2009) have been shown to correlate to student grades, scores on achievement tests, attendance and other academic outcomes.

“Most Americans will tell you that character education is a good idea. According to pollsters, 90% of us want schools to teach core moral values.”
Source: A Cry for Character: How a Group of Students Cleaned up Their Rowdy School and Spawned a Wildfire Antidote to the Columbine Effect, Prentice Hall (Paramus, NJ) by Dary Matera, 2001, p. 191.

2021 SECD Trends and Facts Sheet

(Click on icon for research report)

SECD Skills for the 21st Century Child


“Children’s capacity to achieve goals, work effectively with others and manage emotions will be essential to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Social and emotional education or character development (German: “Bildung”) has always been one of the central roles of schools. Social and emotional skills — such as perseverance, self-control or agreeableness — are key ingredients for individuals and societies to prosper. Individuals who persevere and work hard are more likely to succeed in a highly dynamic and skill-driven labor market. Those who work hard to meet goals are more likely to follow healthier lifestyles and remain fit. Individuals who are capable of managing their emotions and adapting to change are more likely to cope with job loss, family disintegration or crime.”

Source: OECD (2015), Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social and Emotional Skills, OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Benefits of SECD Skills Training


A landmark research into the impact of 213 school-based, universal social and emotional learning (SEL) programs involving 270,034 kindergarten through high school students demonstrated significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance that reflected an 11-percentile-point gain in achievement.

Source: Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D. & Schellinger, K.B. (2011). The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions. Child Development, Volume 82 (1), Pages 405–432

SECD and The Habits of Success

Habits of Success “collectively facilitate goal-directed effort (e.g., grit, self-control, growth mindset), healthy social relationships (e.g., gratitude, emotional intelligence, social belonging), and sound judgment and decision making (e.g., curiosity, open-mindedness). Longitudinal research has confirmed such qualities powerfully predict academic, economic, social, psychological, and physical well-being.”

Source: Almlund, Duckworth, Heckman, & Kautz, 2011; Borghans, Duckworth, Heckman, & ter Weel, 2008; Farrington et al., 2012; Jackson, Connolly, Garrison, Levin, & Connolly, 2015; Moffitt et al., 2011; Naemi et al., 2012; Yeager & Walton, 2011; Duckworth and Yeager, 2015.


Long Lasting Benefits of SECD


A follow up meta-analysis in 2017 reviewed 82 school‐based, universal social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions involving 97,406 kindergarten to high school students and assessed the effects 6 months to 18 years after the SEL intervention program. The study shows that 3.5 years after their last SEL intervention, students fared an average of 13 percentile points better academically than their peers in control groups, based on 8 studies that measure academics. Additionally, researchers saw a reduction in problem behaviors, emotional distress, and drug use for students with SEL exposure.

Source: Taylor, R.D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J.A., & Weissberg, R.P. (2017). Promoting positive youth development through school-based social and emotional learning interventions: A meta-analysis of follow-up effects. Child Development, Volume 88 (4)

Interpersonal And Intrapersonal Skills

Researchers and practitioners are learning more and more about the importance of inter- and intra-personal (often called “social and emotional”) competencies and their impact on student success both in and out of school. Inter- and intra-personal competencies include attitudes and behaviors that affect how students reflect on and apply their learning (intra-personal) and skills needed to relate to and manage relationships with others (inter-personal).

Source: (Pellegrino J. W., Hilton M. L. (2012). Education for life and work: Developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.) These are known in the field by many different terms, including social and emotional, 21st century skills, deeper learning, non-academic, non-cognitive, and soft skills, that are overlapping frameworks of competencies and skills beyond academics that students need for success.


The A to Z Of Life Skills

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