Second Step Social-Emotional Program Chosen for Prestigious CASEL "SELect" List

Committee for Children's acclaimed curriculum among top six in nationally recognized guide for middle and high school programs

SEATTLE, June 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) released yesterday its 2015 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs—Middle and High School Edition. Programs listed in the long-anticipated Guide must meet stringent requirements for research, design, and implementation potential. Committee for Children's Second Step: Student Success Through Prevention, a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum for students in grades 6–8, is one of only six middle school programs to earn a spot on the 2015 CASEL Guide's "SELect" list.

CASEL, which champions the inclusion of evidence-based SEL in K–12 education through research, practice and policy, is widely considered the authority on the subject of SEL.

"With a sea of SEL products now on the market, it is crucial for teachers to have vital standard-setting tools like CASEL's Guide to help them find the best programs available," said Joan Cole Duffell, Executive Director at Committee for Children. "We're honored that our Second Step middle school program is recognized for its evidence-based research and excellent design by such a prestigious organization as CASEL."

Committee for Children is a nonprofit that develops research-based SEL, bullying prevention, and child abuse prevention curricula and training for children from early learning through grade 8 and the adults who surround them. Second Step: Skills for Social and Academic Success for kindergarten through grade 5 is included in CASEL's 2013 Guide, which means the full suite of kindergarten through grade 8 Second Step programs have received CASEL's top honors.

To create the 2015 Guide, CASEL had evaluations of 130 programs independently reviewed by a team of highly experienced research psychologists and methodologists who then met to resolve discrepancies and come to consensus regarding ratings of the programs' evidence of effectiveness.

"Social and emotional learning builds a positive school climate and helps students develop the competencies they need to be successful in school and life," said CASEL Chief Knowledge Officer Roger Weissberg. "The 2015 CASEL Guide is a valuable resource for secondary school educators who want to make SEL a part of how they help students reach their full potential."

A recent randomized control trial found that sixth-graders in schools that implemented the Second Step program were 42 percent less likely to say they were involved in physical aggression compared to sixth-graders in schools that did not implement the program.

"Given the positive outcomes of the study we conducted on the Second Step program, I am not at all surprised that it has earned a well-deserved spot in CASEL's Guide. Middle school students can benefit greatly from Second Step," said the trial's lead author Professor Dorothy L. Espelage, a bullying and youth violence expert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

About Committee for Children

Committee for Children is a 35-year-old nonprofit that develops award-winning, research-based educational tools to promote social-emotional learning and prevent bullying and sexual abuse. To learn more, go to


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