Benefits of Second Step Program

Second Step lessons benefit kids by helping them build skills essential for success in school, in the workplace, and in life.

The program teaches essential “skills for learning”—listening, focusing attention, using self-talk, and being assertive—that help kids be better learners. Kids who can pay attention and ask for help when they need it are more prepared to learn than those who can’t. Recent research shows that kids taught social-emotional skills through curricula such as the Second Step program demonstrated significantly improved social-emotional skills, attitudes, behaviour, and academic performance—all of which reflected an 11-percentile-point gain in achievement. It also indicates the positive effects of learning these skills last over time.

The Second Step program teaches kids skills that help them get along better with others. Kids learn how to recognise others’ feelings, show kindness and compassion, play fairly, and invite others to play. These skills are essential for building strong friendships and help increase children’s feelings of safety and belonging at school.

The program presents scenarios—such as what to do when someone upsets you accidentally—that help children apply the skills they’re learning to situations they might encounter in real life.

The Empathy Unit, which teaches children how to recognise others’ emotions, show they care, and help others, may help reduce bullying as children grow to understand others’ feelings.

The last unit of the Second Step program is called Transitioning to Kindergarten. Children learn what to expect in the more formal academic setting of the kindergarten classroom, how to ride the kindergarten bus, and how to make new friends in their new environment.

Also, children will review and practice the important skills they’ve learned throughout the program. These skills, like the skills for learning and emotion management, can help smooth a transition that may otherwise be difficult for young children.