When implementing a holistic youth development program, students become more secure, more self-aware and more empathetic. They develop positive and resilient mindsets, resulting in stronger character and the ability to use ‘grit – like’ skill sets in their day-to-day lives. They become positive contributors to their communities and develop a greater understanding of themselves and the world they live in. While we understand and are aware that we cannot completely change a student’s belief system without acknowledging that their circumstances may be challenging or undesirable, we believe that if we can instill self- awareness and expose them to new perspectives, they can have a higher chance of navigating their own personal situations with success.

All the lessons in this program have been designed to engage students in areas of personal development, social-emotional learning, character education, 21st-century skill-based inquiry and global consciousness. These lessons are built to have students think critically and share perspectives — focusing on topics such as: tolerance, personal development, bullying, cyber-bullying, healthy screen time, racism, sexism, building positive communities, gratitude, self-regulation, empathy, choosing healthy foods and using exercise as a form of stress release. Students will be challenged to think outside the box and drive their own learning — they will learn by doing. They will take on new ways of problem solving and, in the process, create their own prescription for healthier mindsets, building resilience and grit.

kid-grit is grounded in seminal research, CASEL and Building Blocks for Learning (Stafford-Brizard, K., 2016) which provides educators a framework for working with students. This framework calls out measures of healthy development, school readiness, mindsets for self and school, perseverance and independence and sustainability, as critical to the development of the whole child. At kid-grit, we wholeheartedly agree! Young people need a progressive, multi-tiered approach to develop a life leading to improved performance on all school and academic measures.


  • 25-hour inquiry-based curriculum focusing on social-emotional learning, youth development and mindfulness.
  • Grades Pre-K to 12.
  • Five modules, 12 lessons, an hour each and 12 aligned service learning or advocacy projects.
  • Each lesson has reflection questions and extended activities.
  • Flexible lesson plans: can be implemented one day a week lasting a full semester or can be implemented once a day lasting one month, or any other way that suits the class/program.
  • It is CASEL aligned.
  • Family and home activities.
  • Pre and post evaluations.

Expected outcomes/goals:

  • Less disciplinary activity, increased attendance, positive shift in school, classroom or programmatic climate.
  • Students actualize their own skills and potential.
  • College and career readiness/21st-century skill-based content.
  • All kid-grit assets can be designed to fit school and program culture and needs. We design programs based on request.

It is suggested that when implementing kid-grit programming that staff, parents and administration participate in as many professional development opportunities as possible. This is to increase the chances of success in order to in order to create a positive school climate that is inclusive of the entire community.