Second Step Program Yields Excellent Results

Posted by on October 10, 2017 in Injury-Free Living | 0 comments

Since the fall of 2014, Buffalo County schools and childcare facilities have been implementing a social emotional learning curriculum called Second Step. This curriculum gives students the tools to excel in and out of the classroom by challenging them in emotion management, situational awareness and academic achievement.

 

Buffalo County Utilization

There are currently 109 Second Step kits being utilized in our county. Thirty-six different schools and childcare facilities have implemented the curriculum. It is used in classrooms from early learning through grade five. Second Step is made possible through the CHI Violence Prevention Grant.

 

The Curriculum

A part of this curriculum includes having an educator complete a survey for each student who participated in Second Step before and after implementation of the program. These surveys help us evaluate how the Second Step program is working to better students’ skills in 11 key social emotional areas grouped into three different categories: structural skills, interpersonal skills, and emotional maturity.

 

Structural Skills

Within this category, students are evaluated in four different areas including:

  • Use of good listening skills
  • Able to focus and follow directions
  • Able to ask for wants or needs
  • Use of problem-solving skills

 

Interpersonal Skills

Within this category, students are evaluated on four interpersonal skills including:

  • Offers help to others
  • Shares readily with others
  • Makes and keeps friends
  • Shows care and concern for others

 

Emotional Maturity

The final category includes three different areas including:

  • Able to express feelings in a healthy manner
  • Able to understand and calm down strong feelings
  • Shows age appropriate social/emotional development

 

The Impact

Through the use of the Second Step curriculum, Buffalo County students in preschool through grade 1 showed an overall improvement of 37% in all 11 key social emotional learning areas. The graphs below show how students improved in each category throughout the school year.

 

Structural Skills

Within the category of structural skills, Buffalo County schools and childcare facilities showed significant improvement in each key social emotional learning area. Educators reported that the following behaviors observed often or very often improved as followed:

  • Using good listening skills increased by 46%
  • Able to focus and follow directions increased by 53%
  • Able to ask for wants or needs increased by 32%
  • Using problem-solving skills increased by 49%

 

Interpersonal Skills

Within the category of interpersonal skills, Buffalo County educators reported that the following behaviors observed often or very often improved as followed:

  • Offers help to others increased by 44%
  • Shares readily with others increased by 37%
  • Makes and keeps friends increased by 31%
  • Shows care and concern for others increased by 29%

 

Emotional Maturity

In the category of emotional maturity, Buffalo County schools and childcare facilities showed significant improvement in each of these behavioral areas. Educators reported that the following behaviors observed often or very often improved as followed:

  • Able to express feelings in a healthy manner increased by 34%
  • Able to understand and calm down strong feelings increased by 37%
  • Shows age appropriate social/emotional development increased by 29%

Overall, the findings from the pre/post surveys were highly positive. Each key social emotional learning are improved significantly, indicating improvements in listening, care and concern for others, sharing, using problem-solving skills, and other important life skills.

 

The schools who are currently implementing and participating in the Second Step curriculum include:

·Ravenna ·Buffalo Hills Elementary School
·Amherst ·Bryant Elementary School
·Pleasanton ·Central Elementary School
·Gibbon ·Emerson Elementary School
·Shelton ·Glenwood Elementary School
·Elm Creek ·Meadowlark Elementary School
·Horizon Middle School ·Park Elementary School
·Northeast Elementary School ·Windy Hills Elementary School
·Kenwood Elementary School  

 

The childcare facilities include:

·Bright Futures Preschool ·Holy Cross Lutheran Church
·YMCA ·First Lutheran Church
·First Baptist Preschool ·Learning Tree
·Pumpkin Patch Preschool ·Smiling Faces Academy
·Kidtopia ·Cradles to Crayons
·Little Fish Preschool ·Hand ‘N’ Hand
·UNK Child Development Center ·Little Beginnings
·SonShine World  

 

We encourage you to talk with your schools and childcare facilities about the Second Step program. If you would like more information about Second Step, please contact Maggie Lesiak at assistant@bcchp.org.

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