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Family and Consumer Sciences

Ohio State University Extension


About the Curriculum

Project KIND ( Keys to Improvement for Necessary Development) is a universal research-based preschool and kindergarten classroom curriculum designed to increase students' school success by building social and emotional competence and self regulation skills. Promoting students' social and emotional skills is critical to improving their academic performance and their success in life. Schools that create positive social and emotional learning (SEL) environments by increasing student social and emotional capabilities, help ensure successful short and long-term academic and personal outcomes for students.

Project KIND originated in response to kindergarten teachers' identification of social and emotional deficits of children entering kindergarten. The curriculum was designed by prevention education specialists to be a culturally competent and effective curriculum to meet the needs of kindergarten students in urban and suburban school districts.


The implementation of the Project KIND curriculum was studied by outside senior research associates from the University of Akron and Kent State University. Evaluation re-sults have consistently shown that Project KIND has increased kindergarten participants’ knowledge of appropriate classroom behavioral norms (Leahy, 2011). This curriculum was peer reviewed by experts at The Ohio State University and the University of Dayton. Project KIND’s was reviewed and accepted by SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence- based Programs and Practices (NREPP) in February of 2014.

There is solid research that further confirms that Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) focus directly helps prevent risky behaviors, increase pro-social behaviors, and create greater academic success (Zin, Bloodworth, Weissberg, & Walberg, 2004). The findings from various clinical, prevention and youth development studies have stimulated the creation of many school-based interventions specifically designed to promote young people’s SEL (Greenberg, Mark T.; Weisberg, Roger P.; O’Brien, Mary Utne; June/July 2003). Extensive developmental research indicates that effective mastery of social- emotional competencies is associated with greater well-being and better school perfor- mance. Failure to achieve competencies in these areas can lead to a variety of personal, social, and academic difficulties (Eisenberg, 2006; Guerra & Bradshaw, 2008; Masten & Coatsworth, 1998; Weissberg & Greenberg, 1998).

Program Overview

The Project KIND curriculum addresses primary concepts that align with the SEL core areas of: self awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. The curriculum promotes and reinforces these SEL values over a period of twelve weekly lessons. Each lesson is a half hour in length designed to easily fit into classroom schedules. The curriculum focuses on five behavioral keys that teach and strengthen a different behavior
over a period of two weeks. The weekly keys build on each other to develop and reinforce students' self-regulation skills and social-emotional competence. The keys include: Respect, Manners, Smart Choices, Cooperation, and Communication. The final sessions, entitled "Keys to Success," provide an overview and reinforcement of all the behavioral keys.

The curriculum is aligned with the common core state standards through the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors' Association.

Curriculum Design

Project KIND is a multi-dimensional experiential program involving students, teachers, and families. Students learn strategies to manage their behaviors by participating in highly interactive lessons that incorporate literature, modeling, singing, and dialoging. Strategies develop, strengthen, and reinforce the students' social and emotional competencies. Curriculum includes teacher and family enrichment materials designed for teachers to use in between sessions and subsequent to the 12 week program and families to reinforce at home.

Required Digital Curriculum

Highly Recommended

12 lessons and supporting classroom materials

Kindness Corner

Family Communication

Digital Reinforcement Activities

Celebration Activities

Family Project KIND Books



Family Component

The family component includes communication that is shared after the completion of each "key" informing the family of what the child has learned.after the completion of each "key" informing the parent of what the child has learned. Parents are encouraged to reinforce the skills with their children at home.