Thrively Platform Adds New Dimension to SEL

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Parents looking for help boosting their kids’ social emotional learning curriculum at home have an ally in Thrively, a free site that empowers kids to identify their strengths and explore interests.

To use the platform, parents select what they think are their kids’ areas of interest. The kids then take an assessment test that identifies 23 potential strengths. Thrively then searches for local extracurricular activities near the kids and suggests activities tailored to kids’ interests and strengths. Kids can click on a “Done It” button when they’ve completed an activity, and parents and kids can view kids’ progress using separate site dashboards.

To add business-world experience to the platform, Thrively has also started working with business to develop case studies that will enable students to solve business challenges on their own and in teams.  

“We piloted the case studies with businesses in Chula Vista schools,” said McConaghy. “We’re expanding programs as we go.”

Pediatric neuropsychologists Drs. Jonine Biesman and Jayme Neiman-Kimel developed the assessment. Biesman and Neiman-Kimel are two of California’s seven board-certified pediatric neuropsychologists.

Thrively started as a platform for parents and children to explore different strengths; ways kids are “smart” other than academically. Once students started using the platform, teachers and other educators saw the platform and wanted to use it in the classroom.

Today, Thrively is used in 80,000 classrooms across the country, and more than 1 million students have taken strengths assessment.

“Thrively’s purpose is to connect kids with their passion,” said Thrively Chief Education Officer Jeff McConaghy. “I was an English teacher for 20 years. I started off teaching very traditionally. Eventually I thought, why are we forcing kids to do things they are not interested in and have no application in real world?”

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