Awards and Recognition
A strong track record of helping kids succeed distinguishes WINGS in the field of youth development.
- Charity Navigator delivered their highest rating, four stars, to WINGS. A 4-star rating is defined as “Exceptional: Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause.” As of May 2022, WINGS is in our 12th year in a row of receiving a 4-star rating – an accolade only 2% of charities can claim!
- Getting Smart picked WINGS for their Smart List: 50 Organizations, Schools, Networks and Resources Improving SEL as an organization “developing and advocating for effective new SEL strategies.”
- GuideStar awarded us with their Gold-level GuideStar Exchange, recognizing our commitment to transparency.
- Great Nonprofits gave us a spot on their 2012 Top-Rated Nonprofits List.
- In 2011, WINGS won the Social Impact Exchange Business Plan Competition.
- Charleston Magazine and the Coastal Community Foundation named WINGS an outstanding nonprofit organization for “exceptional efforts” to serve the community.
- The Alliance for Strong Families & Communities honored WINGS with a 2014 Alliance Commitments Award for “Executing on Mission.” This inaugural award recognizes our laser focus on delivering real impact.
- The South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations gave WINGS its highest award for “excellence” in nonprofit.
- Yale and UVA research shows how WINGS develops attachment to school, improves self-esteem, and leads to increases in academic achievement.
- Edutopia, the multimedia resource created by George Lucas to feature innovative solutions that contribute to better education, named WINGS a “School that Works.”
- Scholastic magazine profiled WINGS as one of three “outstanding centers” worth emulating for best practices.
- AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National & Community Service named WINGS one of the “most innovative AmeriCorps funded programs in the United States.”
- Getting Smart included WINGS on their Smart List: 50 Organizations, Schools, Networks and Resources Improving SEL
- Recognized as a “best practice” by education organizations including:
- The Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C.
- The National Institute of Out-of-School Time at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA.
- The National Association of Elementary School Principals, Alexandria, VA.
- The Character Education Partnership, Washington, D.C.
- Contributed Social and Emotional Learning in Elementary School chapter for “Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time: Foundations and Futures,” the most recent volume of Current Issues in Out-of-School Time.
- The pre-eminent journal in the field, New Directions in Youth Development, spotlighted the WINGS program.
- Markets for Good, an e-book initiative from the Gates Foundation, featured WINGS’ commitment to outcomes in “Daily Dose: How Continuous Flows of Data Can Sharpen Your Work.”
- The Stanford Social Innovation Review’s “Rethinking How Students Succeed” profiled WINGS for our complementary efforts between in-school and afterschool.
- Leap of Reason: Managing Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity, Scaling Your Social Venture, and Working Hard and Working Well highlights WINGS’ dedication and discipline to tracking and measuring outcomes.
- Our trainings are so successful, a book was written about them: “Bringing Yourself to Work” by Michelle Seligson and Patricia Stahl.
- Featured as one of the leading social emotional learning programs in “Navigating SEL from the Inside Out – Looking Inside & Across 25 Leading SEL Programs: A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers” by Harvard Graduate School of Education and The Wallace Foundation.
- Profiled in the Afterschool Alliance’s Issue Brief: An Ideal Opportunity: The Role of Afterschool in Social and Emotional Learning for our “intentional, integrated approach to building students’ social and emotional skills and competencies.”
Media Highlights and Mentions
In- and after-school programs aim to combat mental health effects that COVID-19 worsened
Youth Today | September 13, 2022
In Order to Teach Social-Emotional Learning, Educators Need to Live It
The74 | September 7, 2022
San Diego Moms: Explaining Social Emotional Learning and How to Teach It
Times of San Diego | August 27, 2022
Bridget Laird of Wings for Kids on the 5 Things Parents Can Do to Help Their Children Thrive and Excel in School
Authority Magazine | August 22, 2022
As Terms Like ‘SEL’ Draw Fire, Organizations Supporting Schools Sharpen Their Message
Education Week | June 13, 2022
How (and Why) Social and Emotional Learning Can Help Kids Become Better Adults
POPSUGAR Family | December 17, 2020
Powerful SEL is Happening After School, Too
Edutopia | February 12, 2020
Out-of-school Time SEL Prepares Young People for Workforce
Youth Today | July 18, 2018
5 Reasons Why Social Emotional Learning and After School are the Perfect Match
Education Week | July 16, 2018
3 Ways to Help Educators Develop Social Emotional Skills
Getting Smart | June 14, 2018
3 Things Everyone Should Know About SEL in Afterschool
National Afterschool Association | April 10, 2018
Analysis: 5 Ways Adults Can Develop Children With Strong Social and Emotional Skills by Bridget Laird
The 74 | December 18, 2017
From Alabama to Wyoming, Outstanding Charities in Every State
Parade | November 24, 2017
Circle Up: Teaching social-emotional skills year-round
Ed Source | August 9, 2017
Pomona Unified School District Grows Partnership with Wings for Kids to Support Students’ Social and Emotional Learning
Globe Newswire | August 1, 2017
The Wallace Foundation commissioned guide to 25 evidence-based SEL programs was released in May of 2017, offering detailed information about curricular content and programmatic features that practitioners can use to make informed choices about what to use to develop key skills and competencies. Written by Harvard education researcher Stephanie Jones, Navigating SEL from the Inside Out: Looking Inside & Across 25 Leading SEL Programs: A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers highlights Wings for Kids as one of the 25 evidence-based programs!
Do After-School Programs Positively Impact Children?
The Atlantic | March 23, 2017
Trump budget casualty: After-school programs for 1.6 million kids. Most are poor.
The Washington Post | March 6, 2017
The Reflective Principal: How Struggling Students Can Soar
Principal Magazine | September/October 2016
Focus on Social-Emotional Learning Leads to Improved Attendance, Behavior
Education Week | September 2016
Supportive After-school Learning Environments
After-school Today | Winter 2016
This After-School Program Uses Social-Emotional Learning to Help Students Soar
Education Week | April 2016
Looking Beyond the Numbers, Achieving High Performance
The Center for Effective Philanthropy | April 2015
Response to “Rethinking How Students Succeed” | After-school learning can contribute so much to developing effective learners
Stanford Social Innovation Review | March 2015
The New Kid on the Block
Youth Today | November 2014
Program helping youngsters handle emotions expands Education Week
Education Week | September 2011
Developing emotional connections is important
School Age Notes | May 2010
Spreading Our WINGS: Using Performance Data to Prepare for Scale-Up
Harvard Evaluation Exchange | April 2010
Emotional Intelligence helps children cope with stress & turmoil
School-Age Notes | April 2009
Wings for Kids Welcomes Three New Board Members
CRBJ Biz Wire | March 14, 2023
“Heart Smarts”: James Clyburn visits Wings for Kids event at Harbison West Elementary
WACHFox57 | February 16, 2023
Commentary: Kids and adults need lessons in life skills now more than ever
Post & Courier | April 7, 2022
‘So much opportunity’: Project Scientist provides STEM programs to young girls
Spectrum Local News: Charlotte | February 17, 2022
Education Spotlight – Wings for Kids reaches 2.2 million students with new virtual program
Lowcountry Parent | December 30, 2020
COVID-19 has traumatized SC kids. Advocates think social-emotional learning will help.
Post & Courier | December 29, 2020
Check Mate! North Charleston School Teaching Valuable Lessons in the Game of Life
Fox 24 Charleston | January 26, 2019
Students celebrate diversity through pen pal project
The New Irmo News | January 3, 2019
Social emotional learning can help counter SC’s education inequities
The Post and Courier | December 24, 2018
Wings for Kids nonprofit champions social-emotional learning for at-risk children
Faith & Leadership at Duke University | October 31, 2017
Wings for Kids: Promoting SEL in Afterschool
Learning in Afterschool & Summer | October 25, 2017
Students at Burns Elementary in North Charleston start snack store to raise money for hungry kids
The Post & Courier | July 4, 2017
After-School Programs Face Cuts Under Trump’s Proposed Budget
WABE 90.1 | March 29, 2017
Trump budget would clip ‘WINGS’ of after-school program for S.C. kids
The Post & Courier | March 25, 2017
Wings for Kids combats racism by fostering friendship
The Post & Courier | January 2017
Mentors in APS and Fulton help kids in social, emotional learning
The Atlanta Journal Constitution | January 2017
Hornets Star Michael Kidd Gilchrist helps keep kids in “right direction”
WBTV | October 2016
After-School Program Teaches Socialization
The Charlotte Post | February 2016
Bridging prep school and Title I, pen pals meet for first time
Post & Courier | December 2015
Key to understanding: Step into one another’s shoes
Post & Courier | November 2015
Wings for Kids teaches less privileged kids social skills so they can soar in life
Post & Courier | November 2015
S.C. nonprofit teaching about emotions at Bruns Academy
Charlotte Observer | September 2014
Four Charleston County schools win federal grants to help students after school
Post & Courier | September 2014
AmeriCorps awards $3.4M in grants to Georgia
Atlanta Business Chronicle | August 2014
The Charleston Profile: Flying High
Charleston Magazine | August 2014
Teach children to make good choices: WINGSLeader pens Op Ed
Post & Courier | July 2014
Best in class: Atlanta WINGS programs awarded $1million+ in grants
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | July 2014
After School program WINGS receives $410,000 grant from Wallace Foundation
Post & Courier | July 2014
Character Counts: SC ED pens Letter to Editor
Post & Courier | April 2014
Measure your philanthropic investment like any business deal
Charleston Regional Business Journal | December 2013
SC-based WINGS receives $2.5 million grant
The State | July 2013
$2.5M grant to help grow kids’ program
Post & Courier | July 2013
Innovative SC learning program expands to Atlanta
The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) | September 2012
WINGS poised for takeoff
Post & Courier | August 2012
CEO Bridget Laird’s Letter to the Editor
Post & Courier | May 2012
Getting To Know… Bridget Laird Lowcountry Parent Magazine
Lowcountry Parent Magazine | October 2011
In-focus: Education program subject of $2.8 million study
Charleston Regional Business Journal | August 2011
Where Are They Now? Bridget Laird Durkan ’98
NC State Alumni Magazine | July 2011
College students gain leadership from service
Post & Courier | January 2011
Taking WINGS To New Heights
Post & Courier | November 2010
Dancing to raise funds
Post & Courier | June 2010
Charleston Regional Business Journal: Philanthropy | November 2009
Emotional Smarts Key To Navigating Life’s Challenges
Atlanta Journal Constitution | February 2009
Lessons Learned in Centering SEL
Listen: Equity & Access Podcast: The Voice of ace-ed.org | September 14, 2022
How Learning Happens: Scaffolding Academics with Social and Emotional Skills in the Afterschool Space
Edutopia | October 2020 (filmed pre-COVID)
How Learning Happens: Showing a Path to the Future Through Role Models
Edutopia | October 2020 (filmed pre-COVID)
Trump proposes eliminating after-school program
CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 | March 17, 2017
Federal Budget: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver | March 19, 2017
Amazing Story of Friendship & Understanding in Wake of Tragedy
Medium | June 2016
“Kindred Kids” meet face to face in initiative started after Emanuel shooting
Live5News | December 2015
Schools that Work: Social and Emotional Learning After School
Edutopia | October 2011