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Unpacking emotional intelligence: the heart of EQuip Our Kids! mission

who & why EQuip Our Kids!

EQuip Our Kids, a project of Earthways Foundation, is a national nonprofit campaign focused on raising needed parent and public support for teaching success-creating emotional intelligence skills (EQ) and social life skills in all pre-K to 12 schools.  Founded by civic-minded media, business and social entrepreneurs with no financial stake in the outcomes, our goal is comprehensive social and emotional skills instruction in every U.S. pre-K-12 classroom by 2030. 

Why? Because almost all child and adult pain and conflict results from lack of these skills, not from lack of character, and children who solidly learn these skills thrive in school and life, with huge society upsides. 

We know that kids can’t learn and function well when they’re hungry, so we provide school lunches and other food support for poorer children in U.S. schools. Likewise, we also know that kids can’t learn and function well when they struggle with anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness, screen addiction and other realities of growing up today. 

We need to equip all kids with the emotional intelligence (EQ) and social skills they require to grow up emotionally healthy, as well as with those additional skills to manage their relationships, careers and entire lives in successful ways and reach their full potential. 

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the most popular name of the curriculum used to teach these skills.  




By focusing on the positive effects for children, our Campaign works to help parents and the general public understand that developing the highly effective skills in the young that preserves or leads to healthy minds, spirits and relationships, greatly increases their potential for successful, happy lives.

We want all schools to be supportive, joyful learning environments dedicated to helping every child succeed in all aspects of life – to the benefit also of families communities, workplaces,  the economy and our general quality of life. 

Six years ago, most parents, didn’t know there’s a proven way to teach kids the EQ and social life skills developed over the last 40 years. So EQuip Our Kids! stepped in to help promote comprehensive adoption of Social and Emotional Learning (how we do it is described below). Consider our work as waving a magic wand of crucial information.




the BIG story - and the truly GIGANTIC story!


It’s a very big deal that universal child and youth instruction in these skills can help kids excel in and out of school and later in life, as research studies have shown 

Huge as that is, there’s an even bigger story: 

Our core and provable belief is that the best way to diminish historically repetitive human pain and conflict – individually in our personal lives and collectively in our wars and violence –  and therefore actually create a better world, is to change mindsets and behaviors by providing the benefits of different thinking and the personal life skills absolutely essential to change behaviors. 

Our personal lives and the world we collectively create are an outcome of how we are either well-trained or poorly trained to deal with ourselves and others – and with life itself and its challenges.

In reality, we humans aren’t sufficiently well-trained in getting along with and cooperating with each other. Were we., there wouldn’t be nuclear weapon waiting to destroy all of us (deliberately or by accident), nor wars, nor massacres and murders, nor so many other personal life and collective miseries. 

Nor so much violence, poverty and exploitation. So much MY group against YOUR group pain. So much emotional stress and pained mindsets. Even so much relationship strife and divorces.

The learning we support is a major step in supporting the highest potential of each person – and of society itself – without harming ourselves or others. It’s a great path to the “better,” more loving,  more understanding, more peaceful, more cooperative,  more appreciative of each other, less violent and less personally pained world we desire. 

In sum and worth repeating:

Most human suffering and conflict, personal and collective, results from lack of these skills that we can easily teach this generation and the next generations. We believe there’s no mission more important to the long-term public good than elevating the human capacity to deal with ourselves and each other in caring and productive ways.

When realized at scale, these skills will positively influence every facet of life and every challenge we face.  The potential is to transform eons of toxic behaviors, conflicts and miseries passed down from generation to generation. 

how you can help.

You can take steps today to boost the EQ of your children or that of others’ children – and your EQ.  

what we specifically do...

EQuip Our Kids! seeks to be a catalyzing force in growing this wonderful educators movement.  Here are some of our actions.

  • 1. We create online media and videos that educates parents and various sectors of the public about the positive, game-changing aspects of SEL. Essentially, we drive demand. We played a significant part in raising parent awareness from 5% to 75% over last six years and parent support to 62%.. 
  • The challenge now is generating parent  and public active support for funding comprehensive SEL in ALL schools, as well as developing support in many sections of the country where students aren’t provided even the basics of this skills learning.
  • 2. Currently we’re launching on July 17 a parent SEL streaming service to bring EQ and life skills into homes. 
  • 3. Provide parents a curated Emotional Health Toolkit of best home practices to incorporate EQ skills into their parenting.
  • 4. We make specific media materials for many grassroots SEL education organizations and are active in the national leadership collaboration of the SEL movement.. 
  • 5. We help grow these organizations in other ways. We created the California SEL Alliance now with 5,000 educator members making SEL happen. in the state 
  • 6. Provide media for the annual SEL Day social-media campaign, which this year received 12 million views. 
  • 7. Provide Guidance to parents, educators, other stakeholders and the public on how to get comprehensive SEL skills adopted in local schools.  
  • Current Initiatives: engaging students, law enforcement, mental health leaders, professional groups, businesses and others to publicly and actively promote this skills learning in schools and homes.
  • Also, we are preparing local media campaigns to educate communities about local schools making a difference in local youth pain by providing SEL life skills.

...and some things we don't do.

  • We do not provide any specific Social-Emotional Learning curriculum, program, product or service.
  • We do not favor any specific philosophy or program related to Social-Emotional Learning.
  • We do not engage in political lobbying or activities that would violate our nonprofit status.

Meaningful Realities 


**A study of the lasting effects of SEL school experiences revealed lower young adult rates of poverty, homelessness, violence and crime alongside higher levels of adult success, happiness, successful relationships, mental and physical health and economic development.

**Many companies now seek to hire for these life skills. Controlled tests by Google and reports from Human Performance Technology and others affirm that better teamwork, creative collaboration, and positive and productive workplaces are outcomes from higher employee emotional intelligence. 

**Moreover, modern psychological and child  development research reveals that individual and collective traumas and harmful behaviors result from family and social dynamics carried into adulthood – this often reinforced by an adult culture significantly under-trained to deal with such trauma. SEL comprehensively applied provides young students the skills to manage their trauma and resulting reactions.

**Implemented therefore on a generational level, SEL would lead to positive effects on the kinds of interpersonal conflicts that have persisted for eons. Benefits include much lower personal dysfunction, cultural inequity, racism, financial exploitation, injustice, and sexual and other abuses. 

**Taught universally for a generation or two, national leaders would be far less likely to go to war rather than collaborate on challenges, and might ideally even take down the nuclear weapons.   

**Change the way individuals relate to self, life and others, and you change the world.



cindy helton

Just by seeing the data where children are able to make better decisions, not let their emotions rule their decisions. It was eye opening for all of us to see how important SEL is in the schools. It aligns so closely with our mission of providing health and education and an emotional wellbeing for children. It was a perfect fit for us and we are happy to support it."

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