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WINGS for kids

WINGS for kids

WINGS for kids helps low-income children in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia develop healthy social and emotional learning skills through its innovative afterschool program. Recent research suggests such skills may be a critical component in helping disadvantaged youth improve academic performance.

WINGS’ well-codified curriculum of more than 30 different social and emotional learning (SEL) activities helps children, grades K-6, develop self-awareness, relationship skills, social awareness, self-management, and responsible decision-making.

Students enrolled in WINGS receive services three hours a day, five days a week throughout the school year. Although it is voluntary, students and their parents must commit to the program for the entire year since each week builds on the previous one.

WINGS monitors outcomes such as attendance and classroom behavior in elementary school on the hypothesis that improvements will lead to deeper engagement in middle school, better academic outcomes, graduation from high school, and avoidance of risky behaviors. 

Increasingly, researchers suspect that insufficient attention to SEL may explain why many school reform efforts have had only limited success so far in raising children’s academic achievement. WINGS is undertaking a randomized controlled trial to assess its impact, which will also contribute to a growing body of knowledge about SEL.

A Day in the Life at WINGS for kids

Learn more about WINGS for kids and its work to help low-income children develop healthy social and emotional learning skills. 

The YMCA and BELL's Power Scholars Academy help students blossom into leaders. - See more at: www.emcf.org/our-grantees/our-grantee-portfolio/bell-building-educated-leaders-for-life/overview/

In 2013, WINGS received an EMCF Social Innovation Fund award of up to $2.5 million over three years and became a True North Fund grantee. In 2016, EMCF followed that up with investments totaling $2.9 million.


Andrew Williams used to be stubborn and disrespectful, but WINGS for kids' afterschool program helped him mature socially and emotionally. Read Andrew’s story.