Charlotte, N.C. (PRWEB) September 21, 2016
WINGS for kids, an education nonprofit focused on social and emotional learning, or SEL, today announced the launch of its new program at Walter G. Byers Elementary School in Charlotte. WINGS will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the school this afternoon that will feature students, the organization’s national and local leaders, and community supporters, including Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts. Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will deliver the keynote address about his own development of social and emotional skills and how it propelled his journey to the NBA.
"From my experience, success comes with help from others and one’s own ability to make good decisions,” said Kidd-Gilchrist. “It’s important to acknowledge the off-court skills that have helped shape me as a player – kindness, being a team player, focus, and having a positive attitude. I'm inspired by the WINGS program that teaches hundreds of Charlotte's kids how to exercise these same character skills every day after school."
The ribbon-cutting ceremony and program at Byers Elementary have been made possible through the support of Project L.I.F.T., the Belk Foundation, the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Foundation, and Wells Fargo. It will be WINGS’ second program in the Queen City, and together with the program at Bruns Academy, WINGS will help nearly 300 kids in Charlotte develop key social and emotional skills, such as responsible decision-making and building positive relationships.
“We are thrilled to launch a new WINGS program at Byers Elementary and double our footprint in Charlotte to help more local kids build important social and emotional skills,” said Annie Burton, Charlotte executive director at WINGS for kids. “With a 20-year history of combining SEL and afterschool programming, WINGS is excited to continue working toward closing the achievement gap, particularly in our most vulnerable communities, and helping all kids soar to success.”
Incorporating SEL into a daily afterschool program, WINGS helps to give kids in grades K-5 the life lessons they need to succeed and be happy. The only educational program of its kind focused exclusively on social and emotional skills in an afterschool setting, WINGS currently serves more than 1,800 kids in low-income communities across four states every day during the school year through direct service programs and afterschool affiliate partnerships.
While WINGS and its social and emotional skill-building happens after school hours, there is a deep connection between what WINGS kids learn during the program and how it influences their behavior in the classroom. Teacher surveys and research data show that WINGS kids have better behavior, are more likely to exhibit empathy, have a lower likelihood of engaging in bullying, and have stronger self-management skills than non-WINGS kids in the same classrooms. Additionally, data from WINGS’ programs in Charleston, S.C., show notable positive impact on students’ chronic absenteeism and disciplinary referrals—two key issues that prevent young people from succeeding in school and can lead to a higher likelihood of dropping out of high school.
To learn more about WINGS for kids, please visit their website.
About WINGS for kids
WINGS for kids is a nonprofit education program that teaches kids how to behave well, make good decisions and build healthy relationships. The program weaves a comprehensive social and emotional learning curriculum into a fresh and fun afterschool program—specifically targeted toward supporting low-income, minority students. Kids get the life lessons they need to succeed and be happy, and a safe place to call home after the school day ends.