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Reviews a broad range of evidence indicating that school-based prevention and youth development interventions are most beneficial when they simultaneously enhance students' personal and social assets and improve the quality of the environments in which students are educated. Asserts that school-based prevention programming--based on coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning--should be fundamental to preK-12 education. (Contains references.) (SM)

After describing social-emotional learning, provides a framework for implementing an effective program that includes, for example, building connections between students and their schools, involving families and communities as partners. Describes three exemplary social and emotional learning programs for grades K-6: Caring School Community, Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS), and Skills, Opportunities and Recognition (SOAR). (PKP)

In today's climate of increased emphasis on measuring achievement through high-stakes testing, academic subjects are too often divorced from the social context in which they are taught. We know that learning is a social process. In fact, many educators and other youth development practitioners recognize that social, emotional, and ethical development cannot be ignored in the name of better academic preparation, especially in the face of data showing that students are more disengaged than ever before. Social and emotional learning (SEL) offers educators and other youth development personnel a framework for addressing students' social and emotional needs in systematic way. SEL is the process of acquiring the skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations effectively. Research has shown that SEL has an impact on every aspect of children's development: their health, ethical development, citizenship, academic learning, and motivation to achieve. This chapter profiles one school in Illinois that has been implementing SEL programming for a number of years. The authors provide evidence of the impact of SEL on school climate, student behavior, and attitudes. Ultimately the authors see this as fostering the kind of understanding of the larger world that leads young people to make ethical choices. They propose that the lessons learned are applicable to a wide variety of settings, including other schools, after-school programs, and summer camps.