With only 24 days left until the official first day of summer, let’s take a moment to reflect on all of the wonderful SEL moments from this past school year with ACROSS NH. Secondly, let’s put SEL on the front burner while we’re in the thick of summer program planning. 
This past school year, ACROSS NH…
  • Published, implemented training, and provided technical assistance on “A Guide to Social and Emotional Learning for the Afterschool Professional”
  • The guide is available to download at

  • Published implemented training, and provided technical assistance on “A Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Policy Guide for New Hampshire Afterschool Programs”
  • The guide is available to download at

  • Infused SEL connected themes into many new trainings in our Back-to-School Series in August of 2020, throughout the year, and in many trainings offered at the Spring Conference in April of 2021.

  • Celebrated International SEL Day on March 26th
  • Programs from around the state submitted SEL moments from their programs to be entered into a drawing for an SEL prize. This year, the Penacook Community Center was drawn as the lucky winner!

  • Provided the SEL in Afterschool Series from October through May totaling 24 hours of Professional Development for participants completing the series.
  • Programs worked collaboratively to enhance their understanding and value of SEL and made changes to their program environments to increase the quality of SEL opportunities offered to their children and youth. 

  • Provided the Social, Emotional, and Mindfulness Learning Cohort from February through April totaling 12.5 hours of Professional Development for Cohort Participants Completing the sessions.
  • Participants took part in sessions touching on the five SEL Competencies and dove into exploring the potential of Mindfulness/Mindful Awareness Practices on growing SEL Skills.
  • Programs used the information and resources made available to them through this cohort to implement peace corners/regulation stations in their environments among other SEML supportive changes and enhancements.
On May 11th, the participants and ACROSS NH consultants of the Social and Emotional Learning in Afterschool Series completed their final training session! On April 1st, the participants in the Social, Emotional, and Mindfulness Learning Cohort completed their five-part series together! These series made an impact on all who were involved, and many positive connections were forged throughout our time together. Congratulations and thank you to all of those to completed ACROSS NH’s first ever SEL in Afterschool Series and first ever SEML Cohort! You all matter so much in the lives of our NH children and Youth. These two maps locate all of those programs represented in the completion of these series.
Why is SEL important?
Read these reflective and thoughtful quotes from participants in the ACROSS NH Social and Emotional Learning in Afterschool Series on why their work is so important:
SEL can be intentionally integrated into every part of our daily routines. From transitions, meals, enrichment activities, games, quiet reading time, and free choice, to special days like movie or field trip days, there are ways to infuse SEL into the daily happenings in our programs from start to finish. Ever watch a movie, or share an ongoing chapter book/series over the course of your summer program? Consider the ways we can bring SEL skill building opportunities into moments like these by simply engaging kids in thoughtful, SEL-connected, conversation. Consider watching a movie/reading a book together and creating a game of guessing a character’s feelings. Think of the many ways an activity like this could be adapted to start some thoughtful dialogue. Conversations about how we might feel the same or different from a particular character in the story/movie might provide an opportunity for children and staff to learn about each other, practice perspective taking, and make connections over common interests. Conversations where turn taking and verbal and nonverbal conventions of communication are practiced, can serve as an opportunity for staff to model these relationship skills and for children to practice their hand at them. 
This compilation from the movie “Inside Out” is an example of how a feelings game can be a fun way for kids to engage in practice of identifying emotions. Consider how games like this could be adapted to reach an older audience or explore different skills. Go to or click on the video below:
Go to and read this short article from the Harvard Graduate School of Education about the reasons why summer camp is a natural and effective choice for implementing SEL!
This link will take you to an article with some examples of activities one might be inspired by in connection to the movie “Inside Out.” Running an internet search for games, activities, and discussion starters in connection to the movie, will yield a plethora of material that might inspire you to use not only with this movie, but with other movies, books, theatrical productions, poems, stories, etc. that can be easily adapted/enhanced to help children and youth to make those intentional SEL connections to the media of choice. 
Summer camp can offer a tremendous number of opportunities for youth professionals to engage children and youth in Social and Emotional Learning. Download this SEL Sumer Planning Form Sample that you may use, edit, or adapt to create your own plan. Hopefully it helps you to consider the many ways SEL can be infused into your programs routines as you prepare for summer learning. 
This guide seeks to support afterschool programs with the development of policies that seek to include all children and youth. Research shows many positive outcomes from participation in afterschool programs that intentionally address growth in personal and social skills.
Social and Emotional Learning takes place in all contexts that children and youth participate: their homes, schools, out-of-school time environments, and communities. The field of afterschool’s commitment to Social and Emotional Learning can make a profound difference in the lives of the young people served, and in the adults who guide them.
Abigail J. Blodgett, NH ASMP & ECMP
Social and Emotional Learning Project Coordinator
ACROSS NH, a project of SERESC
165 South River Road, Unit F
Bedford, NH 03110
Art by Mercy, 12 years old
ACROSS NH is a project of the Southeastern Regional Education Service Center (SERESC) and is funded by the Bureau of Child Development and Head Start Collaboration. Our goal is to provide statewide technical assistance and professional development opportunities to afterschool providers to support their work in creating high quality, innovative programs for schoolage children.