Why do students with social learning challenges need our help?

Children with developmental delays and social learning challenges often feel uncomfortable in unstructured situations (recess, team environments, group projects, etc).


Every year, many socially impaired students graduate high school with a diploma but without social skills needed to succeed in life. Employers claim that social competency is more important than experience in the workplace. Low social skills have been linked to drop outs, suicide, job termination, police contacts and more.

According to a recent 20-year study published in the American Journal of Public Health:

· Children who are likely to share, collaborate, and get along well with peers were also more likely to succeed in higher education and obtain full-time jobs.

· Conversely, students who lacked such social competencies were more likely to have problems in the future in the areas of substance abuse, unemployment, crime, etc.

One of the most important ways to help our children is to help them develop social-emotional skills.

According to an Essays in Education study:

· 77% of students with social learning challenges do not receive social skills support.

School staff lack time to incorporate social skills enrichment during the regular school day, and most faculty do not have the proper training to reach this student segment.


What is Marvin's Club?

Marvin’s Club formed as a partnership between Developmental Connections, school PTO/As, and private organizations to solve an important challenge—supporting the social needs of students during the very busy school day.

Students develop social ability with familiar staff in an after-school club that does not compete with instructional time. Marvin’s Club offers tools to help children improve social understanding — such as Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking® curriculum, the Nurtured Heart approach and the Unstuck & On Target! curriculum.

Our program offers education for the entire school community by supporting staff development, reinforcing concepts before and after school, and increasing inclusion and support among peers.


Why is social development a good investment?

The number of children with developmental delays in the United States (15% of all children) could match the entire population of Virginia. And the number is on the rise.

Children with developmental delays and social learning challenges can be helped. Early and intensive intervention works, but many families cannot afford the required time and money for these programs. Marvin’s Club offers a solution, which not only provides students with social skills support, but also helps them develop independence and feel more comfortable in everyday society.


Who benefits from Marvin’s Club?

While Marvin’s Club seeks to provide intensive intervention for students with social learning challenges, the entire community benefits. Developmental Connections provides training and materials to all staff, and these tools and vocabulary become part of school culture.


Who is Marvin?

Marvin's Club was named in memory of a very special friend and supporter of Developmental Connections. His life-long work as an educator and his philosophy of building knowledge (versus teaching skills) inspires and informs our work every day.