Helping WINGS for Kids Highlight the Importance of Research in Social and Emotional Learning and Afterschool

Collaborative recently had the great pleasure of working with our longtime client, WINGS for Kids, to create a thought-leader convening focused on the intersection of research, social and emotional learning (SEL), and afterschool.

WINGS helps at-risk kids in grades K-5 develop critical social and emotional skills, such as empathy and self-management, through engaging afterschool programming. As an evidence-based program, WINGS’ approach to SEL is deeply rooted in research, and their team is committed to using data to keep learning, evaluate the program, and continue to improve how they serve kids. The WINGS team was excited and eager to share preliminary findings from their recent randomized control trial (RCT) study with the field and, in turn, spark a dialogue among afterschool and SEL leaders about how research deeply impacts our collective work.

To bring this conversation to life, Collaborative worked with WINGS to design a high-level, discussion-based event that encouraged an open and honest dialogue with leading experts. Graciously hosted by the Aspen Institute, which launched the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, the event brought together experts from afterschool, academia, and research-based organizations to discuss these themes in a conversation led by WINGS CEO Bridget Laird.

These experts shared incredible insights for how organizations and leaders can collaborate to better serve the field and, most importantly, children and youth. For example, Karen Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment and member of the National Commission, encouraged sharing the impact and critical role of intentionality and partnerships in connecting research, practice, and programming. Andre Perry of the Brookings Institute shared that research and data, coupled with the real experiences of students and educators, can tell the story to make the case for SEL and afterschool programming.

Learn more about WINGS for Kids and about Collaborative’s work in planning engaging meetings and events, as well as our expertise in social and emotional learning and afterschool.