Starting in the early 1980s, working with elementary schools in an expanding set of school districts across the country, we created the Child Development Project (CDP)—a research-based, multi-faceted school-change program focused on creating caring, supportive learning environments that foster students’ sense of belonging and connection to school. The CDP program incorporated cooperative learning approaches, classroom and schoolwide community-building activities, engaging curriculum, and an emphasis on literacy development. Rigorous evaluations showed CDP to be effective at fostering students’ academic, ethical, social, and emotional development—findings which brought CDP significant national recognition: Approved program for Title IV Safe and Drug-Free School funds. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “model” prevention program; U.S. Department of Education, Educational Programs that Work. Over the last 25 years, we developed and validated our measures of students’ social, emotional, ethical, and academic development, plus measures of involvement in high-risk behavior.