The Imagine Neighborhood is a podcast designed to help children and grown-ups grow their social-emotional skills.

What is social-emotional learning?

You may have heard of social-emotional learning, or SEL, in the same context with emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and 'people skills.' And we all know that these are important. 


SEL is a way that we can build up those skills and learn how to manage big emotions, build relationships and empathy, and solve problems. These are just a few of the social-emotional skills that can help kids and grown-ups communicate better, manage their conflicts, and solve problems together. 

How does the show work? 

In The Imagine Neighborhood, we use stories, music, and activities to help kids and grown-ups talk about big feelings and solve problems together.

No one gives a toddler a book and expects them to immediately know how to read. Reading is a skill that’s taught—the same is true with social and emotional skills like sharing, making friends, or empathizing with someone else’s feelings. And we give grown-ups extra tools, like activities and conversation starters, that match the topic of each show. 


The Imagine Neighborhood is based on the award-winning SEL curriculum, Second Step. Created by Committee for Children, Second Step reaches more than 15 million kids around the world every year. 

Do I need to listen with my child? 

We love it when grown-ups listen with their children and talk together about the stories in the show. But we also understand that it might be hard to find time. You can sign up for our mailing list here, and for each episode launch, you’ll get a description of each show, the topics covered, and some conversation-starting questions to get the ball rolling.


Executive Producer


Mia Doces is the vice president of innovation at Committee for Children, where she spends her time creating programs and products that help build children’s social and emotional competence. She has advised a number of organizations on how to do the same, such as Sesame Workshop, Cartoon Network, and the Born This Way Foundation. Working on the Imagine Neighborhood episodes is the highlight of every week. She hopes to meet a Fire Pirate some day.


Creator and Host


Scotty is an award-winning producer and narrative designer. He spent 10 years as a media producer for Chicago Public Radio and the nationally syndicated programs HIV Talk Radio Project and Smart City Radio. As a fellow at the Center for Asian American Media, Scotty created the award-winning mobile app and video program, The Digits. He’s the inventor of the Paper Hat Game, and his favorite part of the Imagine Neighborhood is when listeners tell us how they were kind today.

Director of Research


Sherri Widen is the Director of Research for

Committee for Children. She received her BA in psychology and MA in developmental psychology from the University of British Columbia, and her PhD in developmental psychology from Boston College. Sherri studies the latest research in child development and social-emotional growth, and she makes sure each episode of The Imagine Neighborhood is research-informed and evidence-based. Sherri’s favorite part of The Imagine Neighborhood is the bike path with the super sweet jumps.


Story Editor


Michal Richardson is a children’s media writer, podcast producer, and calligrapher based in New York City.  Michal helps each episode of The Imagine Neighborhood make sense and sound fabulous. She also builds puppets, creates costumes, and carries her dance shoes with her just in case. Michal aspires to one day perform a song on her ukulele from atop a unicycle. Her favorite part of The Imagine Neighborhood is the Fire Pirates' trusty schooner, The Bonny Turnip.

About Committee for Children

Since 1979, Committee for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit best known for our innovative social-emotional learning curriculum, Second Step. Our programs blend research and rigor with intuitive design, empowering children with skills to help them realize their goals in the classroom and throughout their lives. Reaching more than 15 million children each year, Committee for Children supports children today so they’ll be able to create a safe and positive society for the future.

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Each of the resources offered on this page (individually or together, the “Resource”) is for educational use only by parents, families, and teachers with students currently learning online due to the impact of COVID-19. Each Resource has been created by Committee for Children and all intellectual property and other property rights, including copyright, are owned and controlled by Committee for Children. Your use of a Resource does not create any ownership interest or other rights in the Resource or any of its contents or elements. Neither the Resource nor its contents or elements may be copied, performed, modified, distributed, downloaded, posted, or shared with or given to sold to anyone else or used for any non-educational purpose. Any terms applicable to our COVID-19 response materials are in addition to applicable portions of our Terms of Use ( and License Agreements ( Additional Terms & Conditions may apply, as indicated for a particular Resource.


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