Evaluating and Improving the WINGS for Kids After-School Social and Emotional Learning Program

WINGS for Kids©
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

WINGS for Kids© is a structured afterschool social and emotional learning (SEL), multi-year program for children entering kindergarten who can participate through 5th grade. The WINGS program was implemented at four low-performing schools in Charleston County, South Carolina, where groups of 12 boys or girls worked with a WINGS leader who served as a mentor and teacher.

The evaluation included an implementation and impact study. The impact study was a randomized control trial where children entering kindergarten were assigned to the program (in a group of boys or girls) or a control group. The evaluation incorporated data from parents, teachers, WINGS staff, individual child testing and observational data. The study examined if WINGS had a positive impact after the first and second year of participation on children’s person-centered competencies, relationships and behaviors in the classroom and at home, short-term academic skills, and whether impacts vary depending on children’s characteristics or level of initial skills.

  • The results of one year of participation show no significant effects, which is consistent with WINGS’ theory that two years of participation is needed.
  • In building block measures, children who attended WINGS for two years showed significant gains in naming vocabulary (effect size = .26, p<0.05) and executive function (Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders, effect size = .26, p<0.10).
  • They also showed promising gains in positive classroom behavior and reducing negative classroom behaviors, although these do not reach the p<0.05 significance level.
CNCS Program(s): 
Social Innovation Fund
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Age(s) Studied: 
6-12 (Childhood)
Outcomes Category(s): 
K-12 Success
Study Type(s): 
Study Design(s): 
Experimental (RCT)
Level of Evidence: 
Year Published: 
Date Posted Online: 
March 13, 2018
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