We help build empathy and compassion in our communities
Research shows that there are significant beneficial outcomes from social and emotional skill-building including positive attitudes about self, school, and civic engagement. Improvements are seen in social behaviors, conduct problems and academic performance.
Challenge Day program activities are centered on five tested competency areas: self management, social awareness, self awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
what we do.
Learn more about the competencies we teach
HOW IT WORKS.
What Makes Challenge Day Unique?
- Before leading their first school program, our facilitators are trained for 4-6 months in Challenge Day program best practices by our senior staff who have led programs in diverse rural, suburban, and urban settings.
- Ongoing training includes topics like Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, school violence prevention, neuroplasticity, Adverse Childhood Experiences and the impact of trauma, and trends in adolescent mental health.
- Our facilitators receive very high ratings from our school partners. Students can relate to them. They skillfully share life experiences in overcoming obstacles, gaining the power of self-awareness, and being authentic.
Participants are taught to notice their surroundings and their emotions, choose a response to achieve desired outcomes, and act accordingly with compassion and intention.
- IYRKM—“If you Really Knew Me…” is a small group listening exercise to be fully present and share your truth
- Cross the Line—Prompted by a facilitator, participants cross a line in the room to visually share their life experiences, finding unexpected common ground with those who cross with them
- Mindfulness practice—An introduction to mindfulness practice as a tool to reduce stress and increase clarity and focus on what is truly important.
- Growth Mindset principles—Confronting a fixed mindset –with limiting beliefs about what is possible– and shifting to a growth mindset opens us to change, improvement and ongoing learning.
- Replicated around the world—Challenge Day practices have been adopted and replicated around the world within affiliated non-profit organizations.
- Challenge Day has been in 49 states and Canada. Each year 90%+ of our programs are return visits with districts that have made Challenge Day a part of their school tradition.
- Challenge Day is a continuously learning community through ongoing professional development and coaching for our staff. Students, adult volunteers, and school coordinators are surveyed after every program to gain feedback for continuously improvement.
- Our team leaves schools with resource materials and follows up with coordinators to keep the Challenge Day learning alive throughout the year.