Second Step » Second Step

Second Step

What is Second Step?
A holistic approach to building supportive communities for every child through social-emotional learning.
A wealth of evidence reveals the positive effects of universal, classroom-based social-emotional learning (SEL) programs for children. Alongside this evidence is broad recognition among scholars and field leaders that SEL benefits are even greater when children experience SEL throughout their day, across home, school, and out-of-school time environments, and throughout their developmental stages. This understanding has led field leaders to expand SEL frameworks to incorporate the full ecosystem of a child’s experiences (CASEL, 2020). When implemented holistically, with a coordinated, community-wide approach, SEL can build stronger communities and support inclusive, equitable learning experiences.
The Components of a Holistic Approach to SEL
A holistic approach to SEL supports both children’s and educators’ social-emotional competencies, provides SEL throughout the day and across the stages of child development, and occurs in positive, supportive environments.
The following sections review the evidence on the effects of these approaches to SEL. A Holistic Approach to SEL
  1. Provides SEL throughout the child’s day
  2. Reaches the child across developmental stages throughout their school career
  3. Supports educators’ social-emotional competencies and well-being
  4. Supports a positive implementation environment.
Holistic SEL: A Shared Vision
Research makes clear that the more holistic a community’s approach to SEL, the more benefits there are for children. Coordinating the social-emotional language, skills, and strategies educators and caretakers use provides children consistent messaging and critical reinforcement throughout their days and school years. Additionally, children benefit when adults make efforts to provide positive and supportive learning environments and model the social-emotional competencies they hope to nurture in youth. SEL programming can have beneficial effects on children, but isolated approaches leave opportunities untapped. Conversely, a holistic approach to SEL brings communities together around a shared vision for how children can grow, learn, and thrive.
For more information on SecondStep click here.