SEL program worth checking out

Kentucky Center for School Safety > News > School Safety News > SEL program worth checking out

From the desk of Jon Akers, Executive Director of Kentucky Center for School Safety

I would like to share with you some information about an engaging and free social-emotional, leadership, and service learning curriculum to support your school’s ongoing commitment to safety. The Global Game Changers Student Empowerment Program is a free tool for educators to use that helps students develop their individuals Superpowers to make the world a better place: MY TALENT + MY HEART = MY SUPERPOWER!®

This program caught my attention for three reasons.

  1. It’s free – funded thanks to the David Novak Leadership Foundation. I know school budgets are tight, and high quality programs like this are often expensive.
  2. It develops the SEL skills which are so essential to managing the behaviors and addressing student social skills that make classrooms unsafe today.
  3. It emphasizes students’ citizenship in a broader community and how we all have to work together to make our world a better place.

Interested educators can create an account, sign on, and access all of the tools they need to teach the Global Game Changers program, including fully-developed curriculum, student-facing presentations, and engaging videos. Online professional development can support and guide the implementation. There are so many flexible options, whether you are implementing during the school day or in an afterschool or summer program. Educators can pull lessons that apply specifically to a topic they are addressing already or has come up in the school, larger community, or world. For example, once students have been introduced to the program, you can then explore Bullying to address student behaviors, teach the Environment during Earth Day, or explore Arts around a planned field trip to a local art museum. It can be implemented once a day or selected lessons once a week.

The Global Game Changers program is evidence-based, and an 18-19 study found that academic achievement stayed the same or grew at the intervention school while the control school and district declined. The intervention school also had significant changes in behavior referrals and suspensions as compared to the control school and district. When students work toward Igniting Good!, they have fewer opportunities to engage in violence, they understand the impact of their actions on others, and they build a sense of community both within and beyond the school.

I hope you’ll take the time to take a close look at this program. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the folks at Global Game Changers, a national nonprofit which happens to be based right here in Kentucky, by emailing

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.  Please feel free to share with the leadership of your various agencies.

Best regards,