Building statewide awareness for SEL and its impact
Providing resources and implementation support to schools
Supporting state and local policies and funding for SEL
Connecting local SEL stakeholders to share best practices

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Social Emotional Learning - A Most Important Subject!

SEL4NJ Statement on Equity and Anti-Racism

SEL4NJ stands with the Black community and Black Lives Matter movement in response to the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others before them. These events bring into focus the shameful history of systemic racism and violence toward people of color in this country and the resulting inequities that extend into our education system. We believe these events also illustrate the need for explicit development and engagement of social and emotional skills as antidotes to racism and systems of oppression. SEL4NJ is committed to supporting New Jersey communities in leveraging SEL to promote anti-racism and equity. We have the opportunity to transform our schools, communities, and societies by building on both our collective outrage and ongoing efforts to advocate for a path toward unity.

SEL4NJ Statement on Equity and Anti-Racism

COVID-19 SEL Supports

As local, state, national, and international leaders work to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many communities across the country are experiencing a heightened level of fear, anxiety, and worry during these uncertain times. Parents, educators, youth development professionals, childcare providers, and others are looking for ways to help young people reduce, manage, and cope with the fears, worries and anxieties that might be provoked by this health crisis and continue to develop the social and emotional skills they will need for managing and coping with future life challenges. We’ve compiled a list of resources to support these efforts. Check back periodically, as we will be updating the list.

SEL Broadly Defined

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.


Increasingly SEL has become a coordinating framework for how educators, families, and communities partner to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning.


When we refer to SEL, we are including systematic efforts to promote any or all of the following areas: social and emotional development, character development, 21st century skills, workforce readiness, employability skills, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), mindfulness, grit, growth mindset, whole child development, moral development, positive youth development, restorative justice, behavioral skills, positive climate and culture, and caring schools and communities.

National Findings on SEL Impact

Educators Value SEL

Teachers are calling for schools to prioritize integrating SEL learning practices and strategies.

Principals Value SEL

Principals say SEL is essential, but want more guidance, training and support to teach these skills effectively.

Economic Value of SEL

On average, for every $1 invested in SEL programming, there is a return of $11.

Aspen Report on SEL

On January 15, the Aspen Institute issued a report on the importance SEL in educating children for a lifetime of success.