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Positive Pieces Education attends Inaugural CFC International Forum 

Creators of the Second Step program, Committee for Children, recently hosted their inaugural International Forum at their headquarters in Seattle.  Positive Pieces were represented at this three-day conference by Co-founder, Stephanie Williams, and Education Specialist, Majella McNeese, who have returned home with a renewed passion for their work in bringing quality evidence-based social emotional learning curriculum to schools throughout Australia and New Zealand with the Second Step program. 


Second Step International Partners at Committee for Children headquarters in Seattle.

Throughout our time in Seattle, we had the opportunity to connect with partners from 10 other countries who also adapt and support implementation of Second Step on their home soil.  Countries represented at the forum included Brazil, Chile, China, Japan, Lithuania, Türkiye, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Slovakia. 


Through sharing our stories of the impact SEL has on the students and schools we support, we learned so much from each other and were able to draw connections between our own experience and the experience of those doing the same work half a world away.  What better way to solidify our connection as humans, than to come together and share our work in helping young people and adults acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to thrive in this world. 

Coming together at the end of the forum to share the ways we connected with and positively impacted each other.

We found unity in hearing from other partners about their journey into the SEL field, the challenges they face in their countries in regards to implementing and dispersing SEL programs, and the deep satisfaction they feel upon hearing feedback about the Second Step program and the truly positive impact it has on a community. 


When it came our turn to share, the other attendees were inspired by our accounts of successes that schools in Australia and New Zealand are experiencing through implementation of the Second Step program.  We also highlighted the importance of our work in providing an evidence-based program to schools that teaches students the skills they need to cope with issues found in most schools across Australia and New Zealand: disruptive classroom behaviour, bullying, student wellbeing and mental health challenges. 


These issues were a common theme for many countries in attendance at the forum.  Providing a program that teaches students to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships and make responsible and caring decisions, has had a huge impact on hundreds of schools across Australia and New Zealand, and, evidently, around the world. 

An honour to meet Mark Greenberg, founding member of CASEL and champion of SEL.

Committee for Children’s Director of International Partnerships, Carolyn Hubbard, led the three-day conference, and provided opportunities for us to connect with field experts and participate in workshops addressing: 

  • the global landscape of SEL 

  • the latest trends and findings in SEL research 

  • bullying prevention 

  • innovation in SEL 

  • implementation strategies and practicalities 


As we move towards a more globally connected world, we feel so lucky to be equipping our future leaders with skills that will connect them to other countries and cultures, much like we had the opportunity to do in Seattle.   


Positive Pieces Education is the Australian and New Zealand publisher of the Second Step social-emotional learning program. Learn more


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