Lexington, KY

Title I Funding for Social-Emotional Learning

Principal Kari Kirchner and her school, Mary Todd Elementary, are not new to the Second Step program. “We had used it previously because we like the intentionality of the lessons,” Kirchner says. “They give the students clear examples and behaviors and are very user-friendly for the teachers.”

So when the fourth edition of Second Step was released, Kirchner knew it would be a great addition to Mary Todd’s curriculum. “In a school where many of our students come to us with a variety of social needs, we know that in order to help our students grow academically, we must first help them affectively.”

But how to buy it? Eighty-seven percent of the Lexington, Kentucky, school’s 471-student population was on free or reduced lunches at that time, so Title I funds were available. The Mary Todd Leadership Team requested and was granted an allocation of Title I funds to buy Second Step kits for the whole school. After that purchase in 2012, the team was satisfied that Mary Todd Elementary was heading toward improved student interactions and behavior, higher academic achievement, and student success: “This program is a step in the right direction.”

But that was 2012—what’s happened at Mary Todd Elementary since schoolwide Second Step implementation? Check in here for a 2015 update.