High-Quality Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs Provide Young People With the Skills to Succeed in School and Life

SEL skills are critical to being a good student, citizen, and worker, and help young people avoid risky behaviors like drug use, violence, bullying, and dropping out of school. PBC's experiential educational approach facilitates SEL and Emotional Intelligence (E.I.). Current research in education, psychology, and related fields documents the benefits of SEL programs and shows that E.I. is strongly linked to staying in school, avoiding risky behaviors, and improving health, happiness, and life success. 

From 2006 to 2015 the Center developed and ran an evidence-based school program where Facilitators trained by the Center went into partner schools and provided an hour block of experiential curriculum over the course of a school year. The curriculum was specifically designed to teach social-emotional skills to young people from low-income communities. In 2011, an external study was conducted by Princeton University Professors Dr.  Angel L. Harris and Dr. Noliwe Rooks from the Center for African American Studies. It showed significant positive outcomes on Language Arts and Math test scores for the sixth grade students who participated in the Center's in-school program. Specifically, sixth grade students who received the SEL programming experienced a gain in reading of slightly more than 13%, while students in another intervention showed little change and students who did not receive any intervention (control group) experienced declines in reading of nearly 7% over the course of the school year. The results in math scores paralleled those for reading. 

In addition to the uptick in academic performance, students who participated in our SEL classes demonstrated positive gains in survey data on critical indicators such as feelings toward their school, their teachers, the importance they attribute to education, self-esteem, academic anxiety, and other social psychological factors. To view the full study, click here.

The Center is pleased to share our school-based SEL curriculum free of charge:

Click here to access our Middle School SEL curriculum.

Click here to access our High School SEL curriculum.


Click on the links below to learn more about SEL from resources and sites we recommend:

MiddleWeb: Building SEL Skills to Lessen Summer Slide

The Literacy Cookbook

Collaborative for Academic, Social & Emotional Learning

National School Climate Center

Wings for Kids

Sanford Harmony


Greater Good

ACA Camps

NPR Story: Nonacademic Skills Are Key to Success

New York Times: Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives

The Atlantic: What Does It Mean to Have "Grit" in the Classroom?

National Summer Learning Association

New York Times: What Does It Take to Climb Up the Ladder?