Vermont Afterschool Inc. developed a statewide initiative designed to enhance social-emotional learning (SEL) and resilience for children and youth. Our work has mostly focused on professional development for afterschool providers and youth development workers, with a trauma-informed lens.

Youth Resiliency Project

Since 2018, the Youth Resiliency Project at Vermont Afterschool, with support from the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation, has focused on supporting afterschool and out-of-school time programs and professionals to help children and youth build resiliency and social emotional learning (SEL) skills. Our goals for this project have been to:

  • Raise the Baseline. Focusing on professional development and trainings, we worked to increase competency across the region so that more afterschool and summer programs are trauma-informed and have the basic skills necessary to start doing SEL.
  • Dig Deeper. Create an SEL Leadership Institute (LIRA) to empower peer experts in the field and give them time and tools so they can implement real, progressive change at their programs.
  • Bend the Curve. Establish networks of support or “communities of practice” for afterschool program sites so they build and sustain SEL best practices as a team.

As a result of staff participation and engagement in trainings, summits, communities of practice cohorts, and leadership institute, the Youth Resiliency Project initiatives ultimately benefitted:

  • 438 afterschool, summer learning, and out-of-school time professionals from 52 programs across Vermont receiving training on SEL and trauma-informed practices
  • 9,900 school-age youth (grades K-12) in 57 towns in Vermont at their respective afterschool and summer programs involved with the Youth Resiliency Project
  • 7 communities of practice met monthly through the school-year, providing 64 direct service and leadership staff with support specific to their unique needs
  • 24 participants completed the Leadership Institute on Resilience in Afterschool (LIRA) and earned a micro-credential in “Resilience Leadership in Afterschool”

This project fits into our larger SEL work with specific goals designed to create lasting culture change. We are grateful to the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation for their support of the Youth Resiliency Project.

SEL Resources

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention

Wallace Foundation

Harvard Center for the Developing Child

Vanderbilt Center for Social and Emotional Foundations in Early Learning

Lives in the Balance (Dr. Ross Greene’s approach)

Center for Parent Information and Resources

Afterschool Alliance SEL Toolkit