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HELP is seeking a Knowledge Translation Coordinator to support several research projects led by Dr. Michael Kobor. The incumbent will contribute to three ongoing and connected cohort studies broadly aimed at understanding how early life experiences get “under the skin” to affect health and behavior across the lifespan. This position will report to the Kobor Lab Research Manager and will have close working relationships with faculty and staff attached to a number of Social Epigenetics research projects, based at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute; as well working closely with HELP’s Knowledge Translation Team and Faculty as appropriate. For further information, please visit UBC Job Careers.
This is one of those very special job postings. Don’t miss your opportunity. Applications close August 8th, 2017.
HELP is excited to announce that Joanne Schroeder, currently the Executive Director of the Comox Valley Child Development Association, has been awarded a Max Bell Foundation Policy Fellowship. She will be hosted by HELP in this role. The position will be effective in September and last for two years.
The Fellowship project will develop a framework for strengthening leadership in BC’s child-serving systems (health, education and child development). Over the next two years Joanne will develop a toolkit of best practices and then work with two or three communities to prototype, or try out, these tools in the real world through a training, coaching and mentoring process. By the end of the project the intention is to establish some infrastructure (based at HELP) that will allow the capacity building work to continue long term.
This work intersects beautifully with the community collaboration and networking research that is currently being led by Dr. Brenda Poon at HELP: this will act as a foundation for adaptive learning and understanding best practices throughout the project.
Welcome back Joanne.
The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is seeking a Communications Coordinator.
The Communicatiosn Coordinator will have overall responsibility for all aspects of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education's communications, social media and marketing activities of the Center. The Communications Coordinator will ensure brand consistency across all platforms, and will be responsible for the organizations communications strategy. This is an exciting and comprehensive position with the opportunity to play an integral role in the evolution of the Dalai Lama Center, and the promotion of Heart-Mind well-being in the province and beyond.
Please view the posting to learn more.
Social and emotional learning programs for youth not only immediately improve mental health, social skills, and learning outcomes but also continue to benefit children years later, according to new research from UBC, University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University.
“Social-emotional learning programs teach the skills that children need to succeed and thrive in life,” said Eva Oberle, an assistant professor at UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership in the school of population and public health. “We know these programs have an immediate positive effect so this study wanted to assess whether the skills stuck with students over time, making social-emotional learning programs a worthwhile investment of time and financial resources in schools.”
Social-emotional learning teaches children to recognize and understand their emotions, feel empathy, make decisions and build and maintain relationships. Previous research has shown that incorporating these programs into the classroom improves learning outcomes and reduces anxiety and behavioural problems among students. Some schools have incorporated social-emotional learning programs – like MindUP and Roots of Empathy – into classrooms while other school systems, including the new B.C. curriculum, embrace it more systemically.
The new study analyzed results from 82 different programs involving more than 97,000 students from kindergarten to middle school in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. where the effects were assessed at least six months after the programs completed. The researchers found that social-emotional learning continued to have positive effects in the classroom but was also connected to longer-term positive outcomes.
Students who participated in programs graduated from college at a rate 11 per cent higher than peers who did not. Their high school graduation rate was six per cent higher. Drug use and behaviour problems were six per cent lower for program participants, arrest rates 19 per cent lower, and diagnoses of mental health disorders 13.5 per cent lower.
Oberle and her colleagues also found that all children benefitted from the programs regardless of race, socioeconomic background or school location.
“Teaching social-emotional learning in schools is a way to support individual children in their pathways to success, and it’s also a way to promote better public health outcomes later in life,” said Oberle. “However, these skills need to be reinforced over time and we would like to see schools embed social-emotional learning systematically into the curriculum, rather than doing programs as a ‘one-off.’ ”
Oberle and her colleagues say schools are an ideal place to implement these interventions because they will reach almost all children, including those who are disadvantaged.
“Especially during middle-school years and early adolescence, young people shift away from their families and toward influences in peer groups and teachers,” Oberle said. “Children spend 923 hours in the classroom every year; what happens in schools is very influential on child development.”
The study was published last week in Child Development.
Photo credit: Flickr
HELP is seeking a CHEQ/EDI Coordinator who will coordinate key project deliverables of the Early Child Development Program of Research in specific relation to the Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (CHEQ) and the Early Development Instrument (EDI). The incumbent provides coordination and support for tasks related to implementation of the CHEQ and EDI such as: coordinating research and information sharing agreements; monitoring budgetary costs; participating in data collection; liaising with school districts, teachers and school personnel; participating in training webinars; monitoring electronic data collections systems; assisting with knowledge dissemination activities etc. For further information, please visit the UBC Job Careers page.
HELP is excited to announce Dr. Alison Gerlach as our newest Honorary Research Associate, effective July 1st.
For the past 20 years, Alison has worked in partnership with Indigenous communities, organizations and colleagues as a community occupational therapist and later a researcher on early childhood and child health policy and practices interventions related to Indigenous children’s health equity. Alison completed her PhD at UBC and her dissertation was a critical examination of how Aboriginal Infant Development Programs in BC foster family well-being and child health equity. Alison has also recently partnered with the Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC on a study funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada looking at family engagement, and is currently partnering with a non-profit organization on the Downtown Eastside on a community engagement project focused on play.
Alison was recently awarded a prestigious CIHR Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. During her tenure as an Honorary Research Associate with HELP, Alison will work with Dr. Margo Greenwood at the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health, at the University of Northern British Columbia. This work will focus on generating Indigenous perspectives on early intervention therapy and their implications for how these services can be organized and delivered in ways that are meaningful, culturally safe and socially responsive. We are hopeful that our connection with Alison will bring new partnership possibilities with it, and also the potential for collaborative research opportunities for HELP.
The May edition of HELP Reads is now online. HELP’s Human Development Research Review - also known as HELP Reads - aims to expand awareness of topics in human development, particularly social epigenetics, social determinants of health, socio-emotional learning, Aboriginal children and youth, and family policy. HELP Reads connects health academics, advocates, and professionals with online and publicly available research, news, and information. This review focuses on listing articles relevant to human development research activities at HELP.
In addition to HELP Reads, HELP's Annual Research Catalogue for 2016/2017 is also available. Our Annual Research Catalogue highlights scholarly activities and achievements of the HELP team, affiliated scholars and researchers. It is organized by topic and is designed to allow readers to identify more easily the contribution of HELP to collective child development research. The listed publications cover a variety of disciplines and topics and, in many instances, reflect new and interesting collaborations across disciplines.
These are just two of many publications and resources HELP produces. All are designed to provide you with the most up to date information related to HELP’s research as well as key child development research. Visit our Library and Resources page to learn more.
The In Virtual Conversation with Kim Schonert-Reichl & Greg Smyth webinar recording has been posted to HELP’s YouTube Channel.
Listen as Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl and School District 70/ (Alberni) Superintendent Greg Smyth explore trends in children's health, well-being and social emotional development, as well as share stories and resources to support school districts and communities working towards promoting positive assets and well-being for children.
We have also posted Greg Smyth’s presentation as its own clip. He shares valuable insight about his district’s approach to well-being, including Alberni's well-being journey and the role the MDI has played in this journey. His is a must listen.
The Human Early Learning Partnership’s Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC) is seeking new members. We are looking for creative and energetic individuals from BC’s North Central, North East, and South East regions, who share our common interest in improving developmental outcomes for all Aboriginal children in BC.
The Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC) was established in 2003 to provide guidance to HELP’s research as it applies to and has program and policy implications for Aboriginal peoples.
The ASC is made up of community members of Aboriginal ancestry, including elders; members are vital to ensuring that HELP’s research has meaning for, and is consistent with, Aboriginal communities' objectives and intentions.
The ASC shares a common interest in the experiences of children in their communities, as well as HELP’s Human Development Program of Research (HDPR), which includes the toddler, early, and middle childhood years, and may expand to include youth in the future.
To learn more, please see visit the HELP Aboriginal Engagement web page.
If you are interested in joining the ASC, please submit your résumé, cover letter, and two references by email to Kim Bayer at email@example.com
Closing date: June 1, 2017.
It is with great excitement that we announce the launch of a new online tool that will support schools and communities to explore and use their data from the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). We're calling it “Discover MDI: A Field Guide to Well-Being in Middle Childhood.”
The MDI obtains information about the psychological and social worlds of children during middle childhood inside and outside of school from the children themselves; allowing children’s voices to be heard and valued. It gives us insight into areas that have great significance in children’s lives, but which are not typically evaluated by other assessment tools. Yet, simply collecting these data is not enough. My goal for the MDI has always been that the data garnered from it be actionable and hence support positive change for our children in their schools, homes and communities. Over the past five years we have been working collaboratively with educators and community partners to develop this innovative resource that will provide the tools to make it relatively easy for people to use their MDI results and make positive change for children. The culmination of this work is the MDI Field Guide.
We understand that enacting change in our schools and communities can be complex. The Field Guide features shareable, plain-language walkthroughs of key MDI concepts, tools and tips for presenting your data, and recommendations for using the MDI to initiate change in your schools and communities. It’s aimed at a diverse set of users: those new to the MDI and those who want to deepen their work with their MDI data.
We also know that “it takes a village to raise a child” so it is best not to attempt change on your own. That’s why the MDI Field Guide has been designed to be a collaborative space where users can ask questions, submit their ideas, and share their stories with others who are using MDI data and concepts in their work in BC and across Canada. Children have shared their experiences, feelings and wishes with us. It is now up to us to listen and initiate positive action within schools, organizations and communities.
I would like to extend my warmest appreciation to the students, teachers and administrators who have made the MDI possible. MDI research is made possible with funding from the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM) and school districts and communities across BC. Thank you for your support and collaboration on this project.
Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl
Director, HELP and Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, UBC