Confident Kids

Connected Communities

Tulsa’s comprehensive resource for social and emotional learning.

We all want the best for our kids.

Whether they are our own children, our students, our neighbors, or our grandchildren, young people represent the promise of the future for all of us. And, we share a collective responsibility to pave the way for their success.

For young people to succeed and thrive, they need not only the support of parents, educators, and friends, but also the commitment and action of an entire community of caring adults. Feeling safe and connected, having a sense of trust and belonging, and being able to understand and manage their own feelings are crucial ingredients for their future success.

Relate 918 is a community-wide initiative led by Tulsa Public Schools and The Opportunity Project to support young people in developing the academic, social, and emotional skills necessary to succeed in school, work, and life. Working together to organize and deepen the resources in our city, we believe our mission of building confident kids and connected communities is more achievable than ever.

“Twenty-first century leadership requires self-awareness, authenticity, empathy, and the ability to self-manage emotions—especially in conflict, during crises, and under pressure.”

Matt Segneri Director, Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI), Harvard Business School

Why Social and Emotional Learning Matters

As we plan together for our collective responsibility in creating opportunities for all young people in Tulsa, it is important to ground ourselves in the best information we have on how to pave that road to success.

Here’s what we know:

  • New research into brain development shows a direct link between a young person’s ability to learn and their positive social experiences and how emotionally safe they feel.
  • In a study of more than 4,000 young people, those consistently engaged in out-of-school programming were more than four times as likely to contribute to their communities as other youth and about two times as likely to be civically active.
  • When young people have a say in how they spend their time, have opportunities for problem solving, and have a place to cultivate a sense of belonging, they demonstrate better academic performance, higher attendance, and positive behaviors.
  • Building “life skills” in young people not only improves their social and emotional well-being, but fills workforce gaps and can lead to a more engaged, productive citizenry.


Learning happens when young people have strong relationships and supportive environments where they can explore their interests.

When adults recognize young people's emotions and provide them opportunities to reflect on those emotions, they create a safe space for learning.

Social Emotional Focus Schools

We’ve learning quite a bit about how the development of social and emotional skills benefit youth, but we know very little about what adults can do– working intentionally across in-school and out-of-school settings– to help young people build these skills. As you can imagine, there are a lot of very big ideas and possibilities connected to this kind of exploration.

As part of the Wallace Foundation’s Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI), five TPS elementary school sites work to answer the guiding question:

“If urban schools and their after-school partners work together to improve and align experiences and climate to foster children’s social-emotional learning, will young people benefit?” 

These five Relate 918 sites receive SEL curricula and materials, professional development, and coaching to support the implementation of social emotional learning practices in-school and out-of-school.

  • Council Oak Elementary School
    Tulsa Public Schools Before & After Care
  • Eugene Field Elementary School
    YMCA of Greater Tulsa
  • McClure Elementary School
    YMCA of Greater Tulsa
  • Robertson Elementary School
    Tulsa Public Schools Before & After Care
  • Whitman Elementary School
    Youth At Heart

“People with social-emotional skills are the kind of people that most businesses need and want to hire.”

Dan Kranzler, Founder, Kirlin Charitable Foundation

“The bottom line is that SEL improves academic outcomes, graduation rates, test scores, and overall quality of life.”

Alonda Williams, Senior Director, Education Microsoft

“We must provide young people with a suite of tools including organization and time management and social-emotional skills to succeed in education or workplace settings.”

Meria Joel Carstarphen, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools

Get in touch

Tulsa Public Schools
Stephanie Andrews
Executive Director of Student and Family Support Services

The Opportunity Project
Jahaziel Hiriart
Associate Director, SEL and Impact

Say hello.


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