We have made some exciting and progressive changes to the Strong Kids programs in light of recent advances in research, theory, and science of implementation in the field of social and emotional learning "SEL".

Our efforts to create an effective, user-friendly, and practical mental health promotion program, coupled with the real-world experience and feedback we gained over nearly 20 years of research and development and use, have convinced us that the Strong Kids curriculum has much to offer and can be a valuable tool for facilitating SEL, promoting resilience, and teaching coping skills.

We hope that users who were acquainted with the first edition of the Strong Kids programs find the updated versions familiar, but with new twists and fresh angles, and that new users of the Strong Kids programs find the second edition intuitive, cohesive, and timely.

Social Learning

For the past 20 years, efforts to effectively teach social and emotional skills have been guided by a framework termed social and emotional learning (SEL). Within the SEL framework, social and emotional skills are taught in a coordinated manner using strategic planning and regular evaluations to gauge outcomes (Greenberg et al., 2003; Merrell & Gueldner, 2010). The goal is to provide all students with effective support to mitigate risk and foster resilience (Greenberg et al., 2003). A growing body of evidence demonstrates that social and emotional skills lead to higher academic achievement (see Durlak, et al., 2011). In fact, arecent report by the National Research Council (NRC; 2012) identified interpersonal and intrapersonal competence to be essential for building 21st century skills necessary to thrive in today’s global society. Further, see more SEL Research