We believe that education is an important pathway out of poverty and that high-quality early childhood education, family engagement and early social-emotional learning provide the foundation for school success.


“Decades of scientific evidence point to the most important missing ingredient in classrooms and schools today: making sure that all children have the social, emotional, and academic skills they need to learn and thrive.” (Aspen Institute: The National Commission on Social, Emotional, & Academic Development)

Research shows that developing emotional regulation and social skills is essential for literacy learning and school success. When children develop basic coping skills, they are better able to participate in cooperative learning and teamwork.

To meet this evidence-based need, ELF’s SELF Program has been created for Head Start, preK, kindergarten and Grade One students in New Orleans.

ELF staff works with young students in weekly small groups to help children develop emotional regulation and social skills, addressing childhood trauma and building the foundation for the Discipline/Behavior System used in later grades.

The SELF curriculum, starts with recognition of individual feelings, moves to self-regulation skills, and ends the year with social skills and conflict resolution.

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