our vision >>>

The vision of WINGS is that all kids will develop social and emotional skills so they can be successful in life. Our mission is to teach these skills – how to behave well, make good decisions and build healthy relationships - to elementary school age kids. We do this by weaving a comprehensive social and emotional learning curriculum into a fresh and fun after school program. Kids get the life lessons they need to succeed and be happy and they get a safe place to call home after school.

Facts on the Fly

  • WINGS for kids is the only educational nonprofit nationwide of its kind focused on teaching social and emotional skills (SEL) to kids k-6th in an after school setting.

  • WINGS runs every day, M-F, 3 hours, for a total of 450 hours each school year.

  • Since we began in 1996, WINGS has served more than 5,300 kids.

  • WINGS serves more than 1,200 kids every day at a record ten schools (4 in Charleston, SC, 1 in rural Lake City, SC, 4 in Atlanta, GA and 1 in Charlotte, NC).

  • WINGS currently has 120 AmeriCorps members serving as WINGSLeaders (college-aged mentors) and we've been recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service as an AmeriCorps National Direct grantee for the premiere service opportunity we provide.

  • In June of 2014, the Wallace Foundation awarded WINGS a 2-year, $410,000 grant to support our promising research and the influence it can have across the entire education sector

  • In July of 2013, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation awarded WINGS a 3-year, $3.6 million dollar grant to expand and replicate our program in an effort to serve more kids and transform the life trajectories of vulnerable and disadvantaged youth. By 2016, WINGS plans to be in up to 16 schools across the southeast.

  • All WINGS kids receive 130 hours of homework help at WINGS each year.

  • WINGS is designed to teach 30 SEL skills, which fall under five core competencies of Emotional Intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

  • The Institute of Education Sciences awarded The University of Virginia's Curry School of Education $2.8 million grant to conduct a four-year evaluation of the WINGS program. Research began August 2012.

  • Four-star rating for WINGS! Charity Navigator delivered their highest rating, four-stars, to WINGS and we're one of only five organizations in the Low Country to score this high mark. A 4-star rating is defined as “Exceptional: Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its Cause.”


WINGS for kids is by almost all measures a comparatively strong, performance-driven organization with a robust program model designed with extraordinary attention to detail. The program is managed and delivered with fidelity by the organization’s staff.
Michael Bailin
Former President of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Lifetime Board member Kate Huey and CEO Bridget Laird with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan