National League of Cities Joins University of Minnesota to Convene Summit on Social and Emotional Learning with Dept. of Education, Community Leaders and Youth

Press Release
Press Release

Saint Paul, Minn. - National League of Cities (NLC) President and Mayor of Saint Paul Chris Coleman today joined University of Minnesota youth development experts for a two-day summit with Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton to examine the role of social and emotional learning (SEL) and strategies for engaging youth to develop SEL skills. Leaders from a variety of community organizations including educators, foundations, businesses, faith-based organizations and youth are participating in the convening, which includes a "community conversation" to develop recommendations to enhance SEL learning in the Twin Cities area. The event is hosted by the University of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research, University of Minnesota Extension and Educational Improvement and Youthprise.

"Social and emotional learning skills are critical for 21st century youth. They are fundamental building blocks for success both inside and outside of the classroom," said NLC President and Mayor of Saint Paul Chris Coleman. "This summit and the national focus on SEL skill development will improve the lives of our youth and strengthen our communities. I call on leaders in the education system, community organizations, businesses and our cities' residents to join in the conversation for how we can best support and enhance SEL skill-building with our youth."

Mayor Coleman spoke in-depth about SEL at NLC's Big Ideas for Cities event in Chicago. Mayor Coleman also helped to found NLC's Mayors' Education Reform Task Force in 2013 to explore how cities can be more involved in local education reform efforts. The task force was instrumental in the signing of a "Memorandum of Understanding" between NLC and the Department of Education in March 2014 to hold community conversations across the U.S. designed to improve schools through early childhood, afterschool and postsecondary attainment programs.

The summit will be held over two days at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The first day will include a plenary session, research by Gil Noam of Harvard University and Kimberly Schonert-Reichl from the University of British Columbia, a youth panel and community conversation to develop recommendations for action to move forward SEL in the state or their communities. Day two features Noam and Schonert-Reichl speaking with leaders of youth-serving organizations and educators about how their communities have used SEL data to improve youth outcomes.

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The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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