For nearly two decades, The Allstate Foundation has been committed to helping youth learn, grow and succeed, first by protecting them with safe driving education and campaigns, and more recently by inspiring future leaders to learn life skills like empathy, resilience and stress-management, often referred to as social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. That’s why The Allstate Foundation has partnered with SEL experts like Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), to empower youth in the classroom, after school, at home and in life.

Karen Niemi, President & CEO of CASEL explains that “The Allstate Foundation has found a way of engaging in philanthropy that allows our organization to perform at its highest capacity. They contribute in ways that we need and not what they think we need. They’re in it for the mission. They’re in it for the people. And they empower us to do our best work.” Together, CASEL and The Allstate Foundation urge schools to educate the whole child and equip students for future success.

CASEL has become The Allstate Foundation’s thought partner in driving awareness and demand for SEL among educators and policy makers countrywide. They define SEL as the process that helps children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. In short, SEL provides young people vital tools to thoughtfully engage with the world, which is why it’s so crucial for our next generation of leaders.

Here are four ways you can join us in helping advance education through SEL:

  • Learn how SEL can help us respond to the everchanging world. With funding from The Allstate Foundation, CASEL is offering free webinars exploring how SEL can be helpful in response to today’s environment. Niemi said, “People understand now, at a truly visceral level, what human interconnectedness means. Our survival depends on the understanding of the interconnectedness of our world. Now is a moment for us to appreciate it, understand it and do something about it.”
  • Subscribe to CASEL’s newsletter to stay updated on the field of SEL. “The demand and the interest for SEL has never been higher. The things that youth and families are grappling with at their core all contain social and emotional competence,” explained Niemi. Educating ourselves is crucial to expanding SEL, which is why CASEL and their collaborators regularly share what’s happening in this space.”
  • Advocate for schools to value and appreciate the whole child. Discussing the work of the organization, Niemi said, “CASEL is an organization that is helping to create school systems that foster all dimensions of human life including social and emotional. We are helping schools to define their work in support of holistic child development – the whole child – not just academics as measured by test scores.” Contributions from The Allstate Foundation have helped CASEL to move this work forward through the development of strategic communications to build awareness and advocate for the importance of SEL. To help educate the public, CASEL has compiled scientific evidence showcasing the benefits of SEL and survey results reflecting the demand for SEL from all sectors.  Gain the necessary expertise and support for SEL in your communities by using CASEL’s implementation tools and resources
  • Adopt practices that prioritize social and emotional competence at home. “Social and emotional competence lies at the core of what is needed to address almost anything that ails our world,” Niemi explains. Implementing SEL practices at home can positively influence our communities at large, and CASEL offers tips to do just that.

Niemi reflected on her personal feelings about SEL, “I see education as one of the last remaining opportunities where you have kids long enough to help create a society that is more equitable and filled with people who have a sense of purpose and belonging. For me, the social and emotional health and wellbeing of our communities are really at a critical inflection point, and I don’t think there’s anything more important.”

CASEL continues to be a pioneer in the arena of SEL, and The Allstate Foundation is proud to support them. To incorporate SEL in your home, explore these free resources.

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