Social Emotional Learning Helps Kids After School

The YMCA in Duluth is one of 37 programs to implement a new Social Emotional Learning initiative.

The Duluth YMCA is one of only thirty-seven YMCAs across the country to be selected for a new pilot project. The program aims to help kids develop their social and emotional skills.

This program is intended to help kids kindergarten through fifth grade learn more about themselves in an after school setting.

They hope the lessons learned stay with them all their lives and prepares these young people to become future leaders.

“We’re doing different things to help build leadership and learn about important women in leadership roles,” said Ola, a fifth grader in the program.

The Girl’s Club is a part of the Social Emotional Learning that is a pilot initiative for the YMCA at their Keyzone after school program.

“We want these girls to know they can do anything they want to do and that they’re strong and they can have the willpower to just go anywhere in life,” said Brenna Cherro, youth specialist at Homecroft.

The program is being implemented at Homecroft and at Lakewood elementary schools in Duluth and thirty-seven other sites across the country.

“The idea is to let the kids learn a little more about themselves through some intentional programming from focusing on their personalities,” said site coordinator Lori Maly.

The program focuses on teaching eight skills, everything from learning self and social awareness to personal responsibility.

“There’s lots of things I’ve learned. It’s kind of hard to name, but if I could pick one, it’s probably about all the ladies that helped change the world,” said Aine, a fifth grader.

If the program is successful, it could be implemented at the other after school programs in Duluth and across the country.


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