Wings for Kids

The mission of Wings for Kids is to equip at-risk kids with the skills they need to succeed in school, stay in school, and thrive in life. Wings for Kids is dedicated to helping at-risk K-5th grade children succeed in school and life by providing high-quality social emotional out of school programming.

Counties Served

Dorchester (3 schools in North Charleston)

Annual Cost


Partner Organizations

  • Born 2 Dance
  • Engineering for Kids
  • Palmetto Kids Cooking
  • Soccer Shots
  • Capoeria Academy
  • Coastal Lacrosse
  • Art Buzz (Wine and Design)
  • First Tee of Greater Charleston
  • Praise Dance and DOA Crew (Break dancing)

Funding Sources


Individual Funding, Foundations and Grants (AmeriCorps and 21st CCLC)


School facility space, USDA snacks and bus transportation at one school


Research on social emotional learning shows that it is key to helping kids succeed in school, be prepared for the workforce, and become positive and healthy contributors to society. Research also shows that an effective social and emotional education has the power to strengthen attachment to school and reduce negative behavior, two significant predictors of success.

The Wings for Kids program was tested by a rigorous external evaluation, including a 4-year Randomized Control Trial conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia. The evaluation showed that Wings kids have greater executive function skills, applied problem solving skills, better classroom behavior, improved school attendance, reported higher self-esteem and less anxiety than non-Wings students. Increases in these areas are predictors for positive long-term outcomes, such as improved academic achievement, positive high-school graduation rates, and reduced rates of criminal behavior.

In order to achieve our outcomes, Wings utilizes several measurement tools throughout the year.  We use the results of these assessments to manage our performance against our metrics in order to keep moving in the right direction. We complete assessments on the kids, staff, and even the programs themselves. These allow us to track progress throughout the school year and over time.

Wings uses two social-emotional assessments to track the progress of kids: the Devereux Students Strengths Assessment (DESSA) and the Objective Knowledge Assessment (OKA). When used together, they support intervention planning, progress monitoring, and outcome evaluation in the social-emotional domain.


Yes, the Wings program was started in 1996 and has continued to grow and thrive. Wings 3-year growth strategy focused on expanding our footprint beyond Charleston and establish regional operations in Atlanta and Charlotte. We have successfully executed this plan which provides confidence in our ability to grow and establish SEL partnerships outside of our home base. Our current strategic plan presents a roadmap to address the growing demand for SEL while maintaining the fidelity and impact of our Charleston, Charlotte and Atlanta programs.

We know that to scale effective SEL across the country, we must do so in partnership and collaboration with others. All the while, investing in a range of business development capabilities that include traditional fundraising, grant-writing, expanded capacity to build new school / district partnerships, and more aggressive public relations and government relations efforts to expand organizational visibility.

Grades Served

  • Early Childhood (Pre-K – 2)
  • Elementary School

Related Subjects

  • Career Education
  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Technology

Contact Information

Rachael Hochberg,