Evidence-Based Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum and Programs.

By using Positive Action’s Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum in your school, you create a better learning environment that helps students learn to process their emotions. Positive Action SEL runs from Pre-K to Grade 12. It teaches students to understand, validate, and control their emotions and create healthier relationships for life.


Why is Positive Action the right SEL Program for your School?

Positive Action is a comprehensive social-emotional learning curriculum that helps children develop self-management skills and encourages responsible decision-making. Positive Action has created a program that works at all education levels and even in adult business settings.

Using Positive Action, students develop self-awareness and gain the SEL competencies they need for success in the classroom and beyond. Positive Action implements a proven method for social-emotional learning that works in community centers, mental health centers, detention centers, and other institutions beyond a classroom setting.

It’s Evidence-Based

Positive Action meets all the requirements set forth by the US Department of Education Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

We have strong and moderate evidence to show how our lessons build emotional skills in students. With three randomized studies at Chicago, Hawaii, and Southeastern State alongside three quasi-experimental studies, including one long-term study, we’ve shown the progress your students can make.

It’s Easy to Implement

Positive Action offers flexible SEL programs that teachers can seamlessly incorporate into their lesson plans. With a variety of kits, you can focus on the skills your students need using lessons tailored to their ages and social-emotional learning levels.

It’s Affordable

Positive Action prices kits per classroom, and each one comes with materials for 30 students - you get more material at a lower cost.

Multiple reports, like this one from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, show how Positive Action has increased its return on investment. Their medium sensitivity model shows an ROI of 21,689%.

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy also analyzed Positive Action’s effectiveness. They concluded that the program has a 94% chance of producing more benefits than costs with a $29.32 benefit-to-cost ratio.

Covers it All

While Positive Action’s SEL is designed to help kids, it reaches everyone, including teachers and parents. Positive Action focuses on all aspects of a person’s well-being, including:

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Emotional

By integrating each aspect of a person, you implement a more comprehensive model of social-emotional learning. While each lesson is strong on its own, they all work together to build social-emotional skills over time.

Recognized and reviewed by reputable institutions and organizations

Many groups have reviewed Positive Action, praising it for its benefits for all students. The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning praises the program’s design and effectiveness.

The Council of Administrators of Special Education states that our social-emotional learning curriculum works well for special needs students. Our adaptable lessons can help all children gain the skills they need to communicate and understand how to respond to their emotions in and outside of school.

Numerous other organizations and institutions have said Positive Action has improved reading and math scores and reduced disciplinary action.

Used by Over 16,000 Schools

Since its creation in 1982, Positive Action has helped students across the country with SEL skills. Almost every school has seen an improvement in their students’ skills, whether in improved conflict resolution, fewer instances requiring disciplinary action, or improved grades.

How Positive Action Works?

Positive Action focuses on overall personal development for students, teachers, and parents. We use a two-part philosophy to aid in learning social skills.

The first part of the philosophy focuses on allowing children to feel good about their actions: by learning emotional skills, they can resolve issues calmly and feel better about themselves.

The second part of the philosophy shows children that they can implement positive actions in any situation. Our six-unit concept teaches them how to use those actions and what role they play in the Thoughts-Actions-Feelings Circle.


By using these two philosophies along with the six-unit structure, kids learn how to manage their emotions and work with others to create workable solutions.

Six Units Concept

Our six units concept breaks socio-emotional skills into manageable pieces. As kids learn each skill, they combine each one with the one before it, carrying the model with them in the school and home environments.

Each unit breaks down a different part of the social-emotional whole:

  • Philosophy, Self-Concept, and TAF Circle: The first unit defines Positive Action’s philosophy and the Thoughts-Actions-Feelings circle and shows children the importance of self-concept

  • Physical & Intellectual Positive Actions: This unit shows students how physical positive actions like eating healthy and getting enough sleep encourage intellectual positive actions like problem-solving skills and critical thinking

  • Managing Yourself Wisely (Self-Regulation): Self-regulation focuses on positive actions through management skills. It teaches kids how to handle different areas of their lives, from their emotions to money

  • Getting Along with Others (Social Self): By showing children how empathy matters in their interactions, this unit teaches them how to treat others as they would like to be treated

  • Being Honest with Yourself and Others: This unit shows kids how to identify the reality of a situation by avoiding excuses, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and speaking honestly

  • Continuous Self-Improvement: The last unit shows children how to carry their skills into every area of their life by setting goals and making a plan to meet them

Positive Action SEL Curriculum by Grades

The Positive Action SEL curriculum works for students at all grade levels curriculum. You can get a kit tailored to every grade from Pre-K to Grade 12 that focuses on the skills students need at that point in their lives and education. Each kit has enough materials for 30 kids.


Preschool (Pre-K)

When preschool children have an emotional learning experience in school, it sets them up for success from early childhood. Our Pre-K kit contains 130 lessons, complete with activity sheets, visual aids, and two hedgehog puppets to help them practice their new skills.

Building this foundation early means that kids establish better communication skills and have more positive social interactions.

Elementary School

Our elementary level gives children from kindergarten to grade 5 the opportunity to take the next step with their social skills. Each level aids students’ learning by providing scenarios that allow them to identify problems and relate to the characters as they learn to manage their emotions.

Middle School

Middle school kits allow students to experience situations that align more with real-life situations. These units show students how to develop skills like speaking honestly, developing their positive qualities, and listening to themselves and other people.

High School

These final levels of SEL teach students how to move forward with their social skills. These lessons help children focus on their individual qualities as they decide who they want to become and how SEL fits into their futures, including in a professional setting.

📚 Discover our Curriculum Kits

Top 6 SEL Curriculum Programs Compared

Program NameGradesContent# of LessonsAccoladesTraining
Positive ActionPreK-12Family, community, drug prevention, bullying, school climate, spanish1819Blueprints Model Program, WWC Behavior & Academics, Evidence of ESSA: Strong Math & Reading, Whole School Reform, CASEOn-site, webinar, traning of trainers
Second StepK-8Bullying, spanish281-Self-service, webinar
Life Skills TrainingK-12Drug prevention, bullying, spanish90Blueprints Model ProgramOn-site, webinar, traning of trainers
PATHSPreK-6Family, spanish316-On-site, traning of trainers
Too Good ProgramsK-5Drug prevention, bullying, spanish234WWC Behavior & Knowledge / AttitudeOn-site, traning of trainers
Responsive ClassroomK-8-0Blueprints Model Program, Evidence of ESSA: PromisingOn-site

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Reported Outcomes

Using Positive Action, educational organizations and institutions have seen remarkable improvement among their students. Our lessons have produced outcomes that include:

Improvement in reading
Improvement in affiliation with good friends
Reduction in disciplinary referrals
Reduction in violence
Reduction in bullying
Improvement in honesty

📈 See all Outcomes


Why is SEL an Important Part of the Curriculum?

Adding SEL to the curriculum of your school equips children with skills that help them advance beyond the classroom. Social and emotional learning promotes social awareness, problem-solving, and critical thinking, so students learn to understand themselves and others.

It encourages students and teachers to work together, thereby improving students’ academic and social performance. SEL reduces instances of disciplinary action, bullying, and otherwise negative behaviors, replacing them with positive actions.

What do Teachers Say About Positive Action?

Teachers have experienced the impact of SEL on their students and have remarked on their success in school and at home.

“The children are actually taught how to help themselves, and others, to be positive when negative thoughts/actions are present.” –Suzee Fujihara, Lihikai Elementary School Teacher

“It’s not an add-on; we use it as a way of operating, a way of work. It provides a behavioral guide for our children.” –Marilyn Rahming, Principal of Pineview Elementary School

“At a Positive Action school, I could count on receiving respect and attention from students, teachers, and administrators; I knew that the students would do their best in their writing and their behavior.” –Dorothy Solomon, former Artist in Residence and adjunct at Dixie State University

🥇 See all Success Stories

What are the First Steps in Getting Started?

If you want to see how Positive Action can increase educational success at your institution or organization, contact us by phone, chat, or email. You can also schedule a webinar with us below.