Three Aperture Education Customers Receive Wallace Foundation Grants for Social-Emotional Learning Partnerships

Charlotte N.C. (Jan. 23, 2018) — Three Aperture Education customers have been selected to receive multiyear grants from The Wallace Foundation as part of the foundation’s Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative. The initiative supports partnerships between urban school districts and out-of-school time organizations to help children develop skills such as self-control, teamwork, persistence and goal-setting. One goal of the initiative is to directly benefit the school districts and partner organizations and the students they serve. Another goal is to learn whether and how aligning school and afterschool SEL practices helps students in grades K-6 – knowledge that can help strengthen practice within the field.

A total of six grants were awarded. Each grant is shared by a school district and an out-of-school time organization. The three Aperture customers to receive grants were:

· Big Thought and the Dallas Independent School District

· Denver Afterschool Alliance and the Denver Public Schools

· Prime Time Palm Beach County and its partner, the School District of Palm Beach County

School districts and out-of-school time organizations in Boston; Tacoma, Washington; and Tulsa, Oklahoma also were awarded grants.

Aperture Education supports educators, administrators and out-of-school-time providers in implementing social and emotional learning programs within their schools or programs. It provides SEL assessments and interventions and resources for schools, parents and organizations. It also offers a scholarship program for high school and college students.

“Our partners in Dallas, Denver and Palm Beach County have been doing great SEL work and we are excited to see them recognized by the Wallace Foundation,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “These grants will help these schools and out-of-school-time organizations enhance the SEL services they are providing to the children in their schools and communities.”

The grant winners were selected from a larger pool of nine communities across the country that had received planning grants from The Wallace Foundation in 2016.

In the first year of the initiative, each district/out-of-school-time intermediary pair will share grants ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million. The grant recipients also receive additional support such as inclusion in a professional learning community, regular convening with other cities in the initiative, supports to integrate and apply SEL data to continuous improvement systems, communications counsel, and other technical assistance provided by national experts such as the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the Forum for Youth Investment, the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality and others.

According to The Wallace Foundation, although a growing body of research links social and emotional learning to success in school, careers and life, it is not yet known how school and afterschool experiences can be improved, aligned, and delivered in real-world, urban settings to help children develop these skills. Its initiative aims to shed light on this.

Through an initial phase followed by expanded implementation, in-school and out-of-school time SEL programs will be provided to approximately 30,000 K-6th grade children in 76 schools in the six communities over the six-year period. The local partners will use a continuous improvement process, which involves implementing new practices, reviewing the results, and then incorporating changes based on what’s been learned. At the same time, RAND Corporation will conduct independent research on whether, and if so, how, students benefited and will develop guidance on how such collaborations can be implemented across the field.

About Aperture Education

Aperture Education is a social enterprise focused on addressing the whole child. Its social and emotional learning (SEL) solution, Evo Social/Emotional, is based on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of critical social and emotional skills. The Evo Social/Emotional online system includes both the DESSA and the DESSA-mini, a brief, universal screener of social and emotional competence. Evo Social/Emotional also provides intervention strategies and foundational practices to strengthen social and emotional skills. Version 2.0, now available, provides the data needed to help SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and to help educators understand students’ SEL strengths and needs. For more information, go to