About Open Circle
Open Circle provides evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and professional development for elementary schools. This innovative program proactively develops children’s skills for recognizing and managing emotions, empathy, positive relationships and problem solving. Open Circle helps schools build communities where students feel safe, cared for and engaged in learning.
In 1987 Pamela Seigle founded Open Circle at the Stone Center at Wellesley College with support from Grace and Robert Stone, supporters committed to the emotional wellbeing of children. Originally named the “Framingham Schools Project” and then “Reach Out to Schools”, Open Circle was one of the first programs to define the field of social and emotional learning (SEL) and it remains an innovative program dedicated to providing high-quality SEL curriculum and engaging SEL professional development.
Today, Open Circle is used in over 300 schools across the United States and remains a leading provider of evidence-based curriculum and professional development for SEL in elementary schools, reaching more than two million children and 15,000 educators. Open Circle is an action project of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College.
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Open Circle's mission is to advance children’s wellbeing and learning by partnering with school communities to foster social and emotional development and caring learning environments.
Open Circle’s SEL programming for Kindergarten through grade 5 has two goals:To proactively develop children’s skills for recognizing and managing emotions, empathy, positive relationships and problem solving; andTo help schools develop a community where students feel safe, cared for and engaged in learning.
Open Circle is included on several national lists for its proven effectiveness:
- 2013 CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs
- U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
- Model Program for the National Dropout Prevention Center
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide
- U.S. Department of Education’s Guidebook for Exemplary and Promising Safe, Disciplined and Drug-Free Schools Programs
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize for Activating Empathy Competition