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Adventures Aboard the S.S. Grin


Program Description

Adventures Aboard the S.S. GRIN is an online SEL curriculum that is student led and designed to assist students in grades 3-5, regardless of their social emotional competence. Built around an engaging narrative, Adventures Aboard the S.S. GRIN includes a series of scenes focusing on Respect, Thinking Ahead, Responsibility, Communication, Check it Out, Friendships, and Cooperation. If played once or twice per week, the program can be completed during a semester or a full year.

Adventures Aboard the S.S.GRIN can be used in classroom, clinic, and community settings.

Program Outcomes

The impact of Adventures Aboard the S.S. GRIN has been examined in two randomized studies. The first study took place in 11 elementary schools in North Carolina and third grade students with peer, bullying, or social anxiety were identified and then randomly assigned to receive Adventures Aboard the S.S. Grin or a business-as-usual control group. The experiment took place over the spring semester. Outcomes were assessed using a combination of peer measures and self-report measures. Significant positive effects were reported on social skills (ES=+0.13) and self-esteem (ES=+0.21), but not on aggression/conduct problems, bullying, or depression. These outcomes qualified Adventures Aboard the S.S.GRIN for ESSA “Strong” ratings on Social Relationships and Emotional Well-Being. At a one year follow-up, the pattern of findings was similar to that at post-intervention; however, several new group differences emerged. Additional positive treatment effects were found, including higher social acceptance and self-esteem and lower depression and anxiety.

The second study took place during the 2019-2020 school year and while the intervention began with an in-person school implementation, it finished virtually due to Covid-19. A total of 37 third-grade classrooms from 19 schools in three California public school districts were randomly assigned to use Adventures Aboard the S.S. Grin or to a control using the school’s usual SEL offerings. Teachers were encouraged to implement one episode of Adventures Aboard the S.S. Grin per week (30-45 minutes per episode) over one semester. After controlling for baseline achievement and demographics, students in Adventures Aboard the S.S. Grin classrooms showed significantly greater growth on the SELweb, measuring SEL-oriented goals and solutions (effect size = +0.33) and demonstrated improved positive social behavior rating on the Emotional Rating Scale Second Edition (BERS-2) subscale of interpersonal strength (effect size = +0.39).

Overall, the average effect size across studies is +0.28 in the Social Relationships category and + 0.13 in the Emotional Well-Being category, qualifying Adventures Aboard the S.S. Grin for both a Strong ESSA rating and an Evidence for ESSA badge (programs with at least two studies meeting the “strong” category).

Staffing Requirements

Typically delivered by a school counselor, social worker, or teacher, along with a co-facilitator.

Professional Development/Training

Comprehensive online provider training included with subscription


Students may access Adentures Aboard the S.S. GRIN through any device with an HTML5 web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari).