Social and emotional skills training with young children

Period of Performance: 12/01/2003 - 08/31/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

3-C Institute for Social Development
DURHAM, NC 27713
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): School districts across the country are actively seeking programs to improve the social climate of schools and the social relations among students. Interventions that directly address emotional intelligence (El) competencies have been found to enhance children's social skills and emotional adjustment. Further, research shows that multi-component interventions that target both the school and home environments are more effective than focusing exclusively on either domain. The goal of this project is to develop and test a research-based emotional intelligence program, entitled "Emotionally Literate Kids" (ELK), for K through 2nd grade students. ELK will offer multi-media resources, both in the classroom and through Saturday morning television specials, interactive web resources, and a skill-based curriculum specifically aimed at enhancing El competencies. ELK will not only offer schools a significant advancement over what is currently available for use with early elementary students, but it will also provide communities with a unique means of bridging school and home efforts to promote the emotional and social development of children. During Phase I, the first unit, 'Self-Awareness', will be developed for the prototype. The unit will include three core parts: (1) a universal classroom curriculum, (2) a 30-minute television special, and (3) a webbased resource center for parents, teachers, and students. The classroom curriculum will include a Facilitator's Guide with implementation instructions for three lessons per unit with five different types of activities (i.e., video based, drama, art, music, experiential). An El resource center will be developed on the company website to provide supplemental resources for parents and teachers and supplemental activities for children. The second task for Phase I will be to conduct an initial test of feasibility within a targeted market (i.e., teachers and school counselors; n=60) and with end users (i.e., parents and children; n=42). Phase I findings will provide the foundation for the complete ELK intervention to be developed during Phase II, including the four additional units and Spanish translations. Once finalized, a scientific evaluation of the efficacy of ELK will be conducted through an experimental design examining changes in student behavior and school climate. This research will be instrumental in establishing ELK as an efficacious competitor in the primary prevention marketplace. There is high demand for research-based social-emotional learning programs. The estimated market size exceeds $360 million in potential sales to school systems alone.