Grant Proposal Talking Points

Below are some talking points and resources you can use as a starting place if you are developing a grant proposal to fund the purchase of Second Step® social-emotional learning programs, the Second Step® Bullying Prevention Unit, or the Second Step® Child Protection Unit. The information is divided into categories based on four common sections of a grant proposal: the needs statement, goals and objectives, budget, and evaluation plan.

Needs Statement

See our information on needs assessment. In addition to the needs assessment, view:

The following paragraphs are derived from a PDF on a national meta-analysis by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, (CASEL):

Research has demonstrated a positive link between academic achievement and the acquisition of social-emotional learning skills. In fact, a recent national study by CASEL found that “students receiving school-based social-emotional learning scored 11 percentile points higher on academic achievement tests than their peers who did not receive social-emotional learning.”

According to the summary of the CASEL study, “Research clearly demonstrates the significant role of social-emotional learning in promoting the healthy development and academic achievement of all students. It also shows that social-emotional learning reduces problem behaviors and emotional distress that interfere with the learning and development of some students. Research indicates that social-emotional learning programming significantly raises test scores while it lowers levels of emotional distress; disruptive behavior; and alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use.”

Needs Statement – Social-Emotional Learning for Adults

Why focus on social-emotional learning for adults now?

Teaching consistently ranks among the highest-stress professions, second only to nursing.1 As additional stress has been both caused and exacerbated by the pandemic—including that of uncertainty (particularly around the mode of instruction), loss of community and connections, and increased work hours—recent surveys have found a significant drop in teacher morale since March of 2020.2 As schools begin to reopen, shift to hybrid learning models, or remain fully remote, educator well-being is more critical , now more than ever—as is focusing on ways to rebuild communities to ensure a positive school climate where all students can learn and staff feel supported.

Second Step® SEL for Adults is a professional learning program designed to help K–12 staff and leaders improve their well-being, strengthen their social-emotional skills, and create positive and supportive learning environments. The online delivery model can be used whenever and wherever is convenient, making it easy to be implemented schoolwide. Educators can engage in a combination of individual, small-group, and whole-staff learning activities throughout the year. These activities give them a chance to share insights, strengthen relationships, build community, and make choices about scaling positive routines and strategies schoolwide that all contribute to positive school climate.

1 Gallup. (2017). State of America’s schools: The path to winning again in education.

2 Will, M. (2021, January 6). As teacher morale hits a new low, schools look for ways to give breaks, restoration. Education Week.

Goals and Objectives

What is Second Step?
Second Step Success Stories

Talking points for Second Step goals and objectives:

  • We plan to introduce Second Step programs, which have been recognized by the US Department of Education and the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for their effectiveness.
  • We have selected Second Step programs because their lessons align with our academic content standards, (or) character education principles, (or) Head Start performance standards.
  • Second Step Early Learning and Second Step Elementary teach children skills for learning that help them listen, pay attention, and follow directions. In addition, Second Step programs for all grades (Early Learning through Grade 8) teach empathy, problem solving, impulse control, and anger management. These lessons not only improve social skills in the classroom, but they offer guidelines for effective, respectful behavior throughout a lifetime.
  • Children at our school will be joining classrooms around the world in learning how to interact more effectively. Used every year by more than 20.5 million children and 25,000 schools in 70 countries, research-based Second Step programs were created by educators with significant classroom experience.
  • We expect to see less disruption, improved interactions, and fewer discipline referrals—just as countless other schools have reported over the years.

Talking points for Bullying Prevention Unit goals and objectives:

  • We plan to implement the Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit, which is designed to decrease bullying and help students build more supportive relationships with each other.
  • The unit teaches children skills for coping with bullying, including recognizing bullying, using assertive behaviors to refuse bullying, and reporting bullying to adults. The program also trains school staff to identify bullying and intervene effectively.
  • We selected the Bullying Prevention Unit because it takes a “whole school” approach. It is designed to bring the whole school family, including parents, into the picture by giving them information and tools they can use to establish school policies that set clear expectations and consequences for bullying behavior.
  • We selected the Bullying Prevention Unit because its lessons align with our academic content standards and/or character education principles.


You can determine how much curricula will cost by referring to the product and price list (PDF) or by visiting the online store. Or you can call our client support services department at 800-634-4449 or email us at


Evaluation talking points:

For Second Step programs: To measure changes in children’s knowledge about empathy, problem solving, management of strong emotions, and ways to respond to problematic situations with peers, we will use a pre- and post-test knowledge assessment tool.

Visit the Student Assessment page to review resources and download evaluation tools.