Social-Emotional Learning

Our Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Program is based on Yale University’s SEL theory and is committed to providing a safe discussion space for children to help them face challenges such as interpersonal communication and self-awareness as they grow. Through activity-based courses (discussions, games, reading, etc.), the program aims to cultivate children’s key skills such as emotional management, social skills, and self-awareness, thereby improving their resilience and relationships, and enhancing their motivation to learn. For example, they learn to better recognize and manage their emotions, respect and listen to others, work in teams, show empathy, and explore both their short-term and long-term goals.

Social-emotional learning is essential for students everywhere in the world because it teaches them key life skills, including the ability to understand themselves, develop a positive self-image, take responsibility for their actions, and forge relationships with the people around them. Research shows that students who participate in SEL have significant improvements in academic performance, improved mood and interpersonal relationships, and an increased overall sense of well-being, indicating the importance of the program to the overall development of children.

Get Involved

Teaching social-emotional skills
  • Description: Volunteers are needed to teach social-emotional skills offline in Shanghai or at one of our partner teaching sites in another province.
  • Time commitment:
    • Shanghai: A minimum of one school term (3-4 months) or 4-6 weeks during the summer. Weekday and weekend classes all available. Volunteers are expected to commit to 2-4 hours per week (including commute and/or lesson preparation time).
    • Other provinces: A minimum of one full week.
  • Requirements: Native Chinese speakers. Strong interest in social work or child’s psychology and development.
  • Location: Schools or community centers.
  • Training & support provided by Stepping Stones.
  • Accommodation and domestic transport costs outside of Shanghai are partially provided by Stepping Stones for some placements. Please contact Miki Gu for more information at
  • Corporate & students partners: Every year, we welcome many corporate and student groups to contribute to our program. For example, volunteers from NYU, Shanghai East Normal University, and PwC joined us to teach lessons to children.

If you have any further questions regarding this program, please feel free to contact Miki Gu (

Other Ways to Get Involved