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elementary students meditating during class

Freedom to Thrive: Strengthening and Supporting Students’ Life Skills

Supporting the advocacy, communication, and implementation of life skills in public schools: A toolkit
Empowering Students Through Life Skills: A Comprehensive Approach to Student Success

How to use this toolkit

Social-emotional learning (SEL)—also known as positive youth development or life skills—is widely supported by families, students, and educators. SEL provides valuable skills and lessons that contribute to students’ success throughout their lives. In a world that demands more than just academic knowledge, students need life skills that will guide their personal and professional journeys, help them think critically under pressure, and empower them to make informed, responsible decisions.

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Black teacher and student work together in school computer lab

The Power of Life Skills for Healthier Futures

Learn more about the positive benefits of life skills on student’s health and well-being.
teen students and teacher sitting in a circle in a classroom

Sample Resolution on Supporting and Strengthening Students’ Life Skills

This model School Board Resolution Template can help educators, parents, and caregivers advance Life Skills in their school district. Use this language as a reference for supporting and strengthening students' life skills.
elementary students sit on top of school desks and meditate

Backgrounder: Importance of Social and Emotional Learning

SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful.

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Accelerated Learning

Accelerated Learning

Accelerating student learning addresses the ongoing opportunity gaps and lost learning that still plague many students nationwide.  Use these tools as a reference for accelerating student learning and incorporating life skills in your community.

Model Legislation

Model Legislation

An increasing number of states are codifying their support for life skills. Explore the Growing trend and criteria for effective legislation across the states.

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Social and emotional learning

Three Principles for Using SEL in the Classroom

Supporting students’ mental health is particularly important now, as students adjust to the academic and emotional upheaval of the pandemic. Try these creative ways to work social and emotional learning into your lessons.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.