Youth Development: 88% of Youth Grew in SEL Capacity 2023/2024 School Year

YMCA staff helping students in afterschool program

The Alliance has continued to provide our YMCAs with scholarships to access Hello Insight’s tools for measuring social emotional learning (SEL) capacity as part of our statewide Strategic Plan to build resilience in North Carolina youth, contributing to the state’s “whole child” objectives. 

New data for January-May 2024 for elementary school-aged children 10 and under shows that 88% of youth grew in at least one of the five core SEL capacities, with almost half (44%) achieving positive results in at least three core SEL capacities. In each area, more than half of young people saw success in SEL growth. 

In addition, 57% who identified as “emerging” in the Self-Management capacity at the pre-assessment phase showed meaningful growth at post-assessment.  In terms of Program Satisfaction, 79% of youth would recommend their YMCA program to a friend, reflecting high satisfaction with their experience. 

The data set includes more than 1,300 children from 18 Y associations in 22 programs at more than 80 YMCA sites. The outcomes underscore the effectiveness of Y programs in fostering SEL development among young participants.

The most successful SEL capacities were linked to improved academic performance, better job prospects, and enhanced health and wellness, consistent with findings from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).