HELP Talks Sustaining and Evaluating Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: The New Frontier with Mark T. Greenberg

The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) is pleased to announce our next HELP Talks will take place on Wednesday, September 13th (9:30am-12:00pm) in the Michael Smith Laboratories Theatre (Room 102). Please join us as we welcome Dr. Mark T. Greenberg and a panel of distinguished guests for a morning of presentations focused Sustaining and Evaluating Social and Emotional Learning Interventions. 

A detailed agenda is included below. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 at 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Michael Smith Laboratories Theatre (Room 102)
2185 East Mall
University of British Columbia, Vancouver



9:30 – 10:00 am: Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director, HELP

10:00 – 10:45 am: The Future of Children: Presentation and Panel Response
Dr. Mark T Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology, Penn State.
Panel Discussion and Response

10:45 – 11:00 am: Break

11:00 – 11:45 am: Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: Concepts and Methodologies
Dr. Mark T Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology, Penn State.

11:45 – 12:00 pm: Questions ...

read more

Discover MDI: A Field Guide to Well-Being in Middle Childhood

Earlier this year HELP launched Discover MDI: A Field Guide to Well-Being in Middle Childhood, an online tool that supports schools and communities to explore and use their data from the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). 

The Field Guide features shareable resources for key MDI concepts and research related to healthy middle childhood development, tools and tips for presenting your MDI data, and recommendations for using the MDI to initiate conversations and 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. It is 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.

Collaboration is a key theme for Discover MDI. This fall, in an effort to foster and deepen collaboration, we are formalizing opportunities for MDI participants to share experiences and learnings and engage in in depth learning on topics from social and emotional learning to working with kids and MDI data in the classroom. This is an exciting initiative and we look forward ...

read more

HELP is Hiring! Knowledge Translation Coordinator to support Dr. Michael Kobor

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. 

Joanne Schroeder awarded a Max Bell Foundation Policy Fellowship

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.

Job Opportunity with Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education

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.

Programs that teach emotional intelligence in schools have lasting impact

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 ...

read more

HELP is Hiring! CHEQ/EDI Coordinator

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.

Welcome Alison Gerlach, HELP Honorary Research Associate

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 ...

read more

HELP Reads May 2017

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. 

Webinar recording now available

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. 

Call for Membership! HELP - Aboriginal Steering Committee

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.

Aboriginal Steering Committee

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.

Requirements of ASC Members

  • Must be of Aboriginal ancestry
  • Must be available to work on ASC-related goals and activities as required
  • Commit to a two year term minimum
  • Have access to internet/email/telephone
  • Participate annually in two face-to-face meetings (2-3 days in ...

read more

Discover MDI: A Field Guide to Well-Being in Middle Childhood

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 ...

read more

Heart Mind Index: Building on the EDI to explore Heart-Mind well-being of children in British Columbia

When: Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
Time: 9:30 am to noon
Location: Hertzman Boardroom, HELP Office, SPPH

Please join Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, Professor, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, Faculty of Education, and Director, Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) as she leads a discussion about the Heart Mind Index.

Developed by the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, together with UBC's Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), the Heart-Mind Index provides a population-level snapshot of Heart-Mind well-being of children in British Columbia communities. The Heart-Mind Index draws on the work HELP has led for the last 14 years with the Early Development Instrument (EDI)—a population-level developmental survey that is used with kindergarten children in British Columbia every year. The Index analyzes EDI data in a new way to provide deeper and more specific indications of social and emotional development.

Co presenters include Dr. Alisa Almas, Maria LeRose and Fiona Douglas-Crampton, CEO & President of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.

A complete agenda is included below. Please RSVP to

9:30 – 10:00 am: Introduction
Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Professor, Director, Human Early Learning Partnership, School of Population and Public Health, UBC ...

read more

Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF) - Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development

The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) and BC Children’s Hospital are pleased to announce that Dr. Michael S. Kobor has been appointed as the Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development. Dr. Kobor is a world-leading expert in the field of social epigenetics, researching how diverse early life experiences affect human development and influence children’s health, learning and behavior. 

Dr. Kobor’s chair will be co-located at the HELP, School of Population and Public Health at UBC, and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children at BC Children’s Hospital. Building on the work of Drs. Clyde Hertzman and Thomas Boyce, Dr. Kobor’s research program will expand our understanding of the mechanisms and processes by which biological embedding occurs – how experience gets “under the skin” to influence lifelong health and wellbeing. Combining the individual strengths of HELP, Sunny Hill and BC Children’s, Dr. Kobor’s vision is to create “child-sized made in BC solutions with global impact”.

Dr. Kobor and his team will map the biological trajectories of healthy child development across the population at the molecular level. This will serve as the basis to understand the distinct trajectories of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Furthermore, the ...

read more

Seasons Readings: HELP's Best of 2016 Book Selections

Becoming brilliant. What science tells us about raising successful children: Michnick Golinkoff R, Hirsh-Pasek K. American Psychological Association; 2016.

Contexts for young child flourishing: evolution, family, and society: Narvaez D, Braungart-Rieker JM, Miller-Graff LE, Gettler LT, Hastings PD (editors). New York, NY: Oxford; 2016.

Handbook of mindfulness in education. Integrating theory and research into practice: Schonert-Reichl KA, Roeser RW (editors). New York, NY: Springer; 2016.

Mental health and wellbeing through schools: the way forward: Shute RH, Slee PT (editors). New York: Routledge; 2016.

Let them eat dirt: saving our children from an oversanitized world: Finlay BB, Arrieta M-C. Vancouver, BC: Greystone Books; 2016.

The gardener and the carpenter: what the new science of child development tells us about the relationship between parents and children: Gopnik A. Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 2016.


Snow2012k by Nathan Put-Fernandez Flickr CC Attribution