WINGS for Kids Launches New Afterschool Program in Charlotte at Thomasboro Academy

Thomasboro Site is Second WINGS Afterschool Program in Charlotte; Together, Sites Will Help 300 Students Develop Social Emotional Skills

Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WINGS for Kids, a leader and expert in social emotional learning (SEL) in the afterschool field, has launched their newest afterschool program at Thomasboro Academy in Charlotte. The site is funded by a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, a federal program that provides out-of-school time academic enrichment activities in schools in low-income communities.

“We are thrilled to launch our newest afterschool program at Thomasboro Academy and continue our important work in Charlotte helping more kids build social emotional skills to help them succeed in school and thrive in life,” said Bridget Laird, CEO of WINGS. “With more than 20 years of experience in SEL in afterschool, WINGS is excited to start our fourth year in Charlotte and continue supporting all students soar to success through a program that we know makes a difference.”

WINGS incorporates a comprehensive, evidence-based SEL curriculum into a fresh and fun daily afterschool program. Led by college-age mentors, called WINGS Leaders, the program uses extracurricular activities, games, academics, and small group discussions as opportunities for kids to learn and develop social emotional skills, such as responsible decision-making, empathy, and self-management. Students attend the program at no cost for three hours per day, five days a week during the school year, and receive a snack, dinner, and help with homework, as well as bus transportation home.

There is a deep connection between the social emotional skills WINGS kids learn during the afterschool program and how it influences their behavior in the classroom. External evaluations, including a recent randomized control trial (RCT) study, show that WINGS kids have better behavior, are more likely to exhibit empathy, show improved executive function, and have stronger self-management skills than kids in the same classrooms who do not participate in WINGS.

The afterschool program at Thomasboro is WINGS’ second site in Charlotte; the organization’s program at Bruns Academy was launched in 2015. Both programs are led by college students from local universities, including UNC Charlotte, Queens University of Charlotte, and Johnson C. Smith University. Together, the two programs will serve nearly 300 Charlotte students.

WINGS currently serves more than 1,700 kids in California, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina through direct-service and partnership models. The organization also provides SEL-focused trainings and workshops for educators, and recently launched a pilot district-wide professional development program for elementary classroom teachers in Laurens, S.C.

To learn more about WINGS for Kids and the positive impact of SEL, please visit their website.


About WINGS for Kids

WINGS for Kids is a nonprofit education program that equips at-risk kids with the skills they need to succeed in school, stay in school, and thrive in life. WINGS’ evidence-based approach combines a comprehensive social emotional learning curriculum, engaging afterschool programming, and high-quality training and professional development for practitioners and adults. As a result, the program fosters the mindset, skills, and confidence children need to behave well, make good decisions, and build healthy relationships.



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