Social and emotional skills are the tools both children and adults use in social interactions and to manage every day emotional responses. Building strong social and emotional skills help us all to be more resilient when faced with adversity. Social skill programming will be in part taught by utilizing the eight foundational skills of social emotional learning as defined by Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA). These include:
- Optimistic Thinking
- Personal Responsibility
- Relationship Skills
- Goal-Directed Behavior
During the 2017-18 School Year, 562 students enrolled in the YMCA of Central Ohio Afterschool programs in Columbus City Schools, Southwestern City Schools and other surrounding urban programs were assessed by their afterschool teachers using The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA). Collectively, these students demonstrated 10% growth in their social and emotional skills. With the two most improved SEL foundational skills being Self-Management at 16% and Self-Awareness at 15%.
The DESSA is a standardized, strength-based measure of the social and emotional competencies of children in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Utilizing the assessment results, teachers in our afterschool programs implemented growth strategies and lessons in the following eight DESSA - SEL competencies:
Social Emotional Intelligence is the strongest indicator of student success.