Registration is Open! Collaborative Action: A National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years

HELP continues our tradition of hosting innovative, quality events that focus on research-to-practice perspectives with Collaborative Action: A National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years.

This special, two day HELP event – hosted at the University of British Columbia August 20 & 21, 2018 – is designed to inspire, motivate and strengthen participant’s leadership skills by focusing on child well-being through a systems-thinking lens. We are excited to gather together leaders in the field of child well-being from across Canada including Dr. Jean Clinton, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behaviourals Neurosciences, McMaster University, Dr. Mark T. Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology, Penn State, Dr. Michael Ungar, Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, and our own Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl.

Working together, participants and presenters will share research and practice, learn from each other, and generate new ideas. Join us to enhance your effectiveness as a champion for child well-being and to network with colleagues from across Canada.

Who should attend?
• Professionals and practitioners whose focus is in whole or part on middle childhood and who are dedicated to promoting ...

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Reimagining Human Flourishing

From March 12-16, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will engage in an in-depth dialogue with leading scientists, humanities scholars, education researchers, and practitioners on the topic of education and how to best prepare young people for their roles in a rapidly-changing world. New models for integrating the teaching of compassion and ethics in schools will be explored, along with developing students’ social and emotional skills through focused attention and mindfulness training.

Sponsored by the Mind & Life Institute, the five-day event, entitled “Reimagining Human Flourishing,” will take place at the Tsuglagkhang, the main temple of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. More than 150 invited guests will be in attendance, with the proceedings livestreamed to a broad international audience. 

Among the esteemed presenters at the event will be Richard Davidson, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Amishi Jha, Ph.D., Director of Contemplative Neuroscience for the UMindfulness Initiative at the University of Miami; Patricia Jennings, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia; and Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D., a Buddhist monk at Shechen Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.

We are pleased to ...

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Growing Systems Leadership for Children - Call for Expressions of Interest is Open

Joanne Schroeder, Pippa Rowcliffe and the rest of the HELP team are excited to announce that the Growing Systems Leadership for Children Call for Expressions of Interest is open!

We are seeking 2 or 3 inter-sectoral groups in British Columbia who would like to be part of a ground breaking project to deepen leadership and collaboration towards improving the life chances of children in our province. These groups may be geographic or organizational “communities” who have a history of working together to create change.

It is the premise of this project that improving outcomes for children and their families hinges initially on the emergence of effective systems leadership, at many levels, and across child-serving systems.

An intensive, first of its kind, training opportunity for inter-sectoral groups working on improving outcomes for young children. The training aims to strengthen capacity in compassionate leadership and systems thinking. Participants will be better prepared to work together towards change, as well as gaining a deeper sense of personal meaning in their work.

The path to healthy development for children in Canadian society is becoming increasingly complicated, and there are reasons to be concerned. For too many of our children, the path ...

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Reposted! Live 5-2-1-0 Research Assistant

Live 5-2-1-0 is seeking a part-time Research Assistant.

Live 5-2-1-0 is an evidence-based message promoting four simple guidelines for raising healthy children. Through the Live 5-2-1-0 message, Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement - SCOPE - is supporting communities as they take action across all sectors to build healthy environments for children.

This Research Assistant position will provide project coordination and research support to the SCOPE team and will coordinate all activities related to a new school-based research evaluation project. SCOPE is a community-based participatory childhood obesity prevention project that is currently active in multiple communities in BC, and in the process of expanding impact evaluation tools and approaches available for use by communities. SCOPE aims to engage multiple sectors, involve local stakeholders, empower communities to promote their own health, and ensure sustainability by improving skills and knowledge and facilitating community ownership of solutions to the problem of childhood obesity. This research assistant position will be supporting the development and testing of a new school-based behavior measurement tool in partnership with school districts, communities, and partner organizations. Applicants must have experience coordinating and conducting classroom-based research with children in elementary schools, including development of ethics applications through to data collection and ...

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Diana Elliot awarded the Dr. Hillel Goelman Award for Outstanding Leadership in Professional Development in Early Childhood Intervention

It is our great pleasure to share news that Diana Elliott, Aboriginal Infant Development Programs Provincial Advisor, was awarded the Dr. Hillel Goelman Award for Outstanding Leadership in Professional Development in Early Childhood Intervention at a ceremony during the Early Years Conference, January 26th, 2018.

The Hillel Goelman Award was created to recognize the enormous contributions Dr. Goelman made to the field of early childhood intervention in BC. With its 2018 selection, it is recognizing Diana’s wisdom, knowledge, care and lifelong dedication to the service to children and families in her own community and across the province.

She describes her work in her own words in this way:

“Working from the philosophy that each child is a gift from the Creator, Diana appreciates the importance of enriching early and lifelong learning and the benefits of family and parenting support and education. She also understands the importance of doing this from a culturally meaningful and safe place. She provides advice, guidance, mentorship and assistance to ensure that culture is the foundation of Aboriginal Infant Development programs.

Diana, who is also a member of HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC), brings these traits and more to every aspect of her ...

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In Memory - Andrew Yellowback

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Andrew Yellowback.

Originally from Cross Lake, Manitoba, Andrew was a Cree elder and residential school survivor. He held numerous roles in civil service including as Federal Parole Officer and conducting Case Management services at federal and provincial prisons, where he helped inmates to rehabilitate themselves through teachings and counseling. Andrew was a committed member of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. He was very active in the urban Aboriginal community and held a strong belief in the role of Spirituality in the treatment of mental health and addictions problems.

Andrew was a member of our Aboriginal Steering Committee from 2014 to 2016. And while his time with us was short his legacy will have a lasting impact. “This is a true loss,” reflects Carrie Anne Vanderhoop, Co-Chair of the HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee. “He was dedicated to the work towards healing and wellness for Indigenous communities, especially families and children. It was an honour to have him at our table sharing his knowledge, experience and some good laughs.”

“He was a gentle soul,” shares Duane Jackson, Co-Chair of HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee. “My time with ...

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Remembering Clyde Hertzman

It is hard to believe it has been five years since we lost our dear friend, mentor and colleague, Dr. Clyde Hertzman. A passionate visionary, esteemed researcher and early child advocate, Clyde inspired every one of us. And he continues to do so. 

HELP Talks: Mobile Digital Technologies and Adolescent Mental Health

Please join us Thursday, March 1st (9:00am – 12:00pm) for HELP Talks: Mobile digital technologies and adolescent mental health.

HELP Talks are HELP faculty led events that focus on a particular area of human development from a research-to-practice perspective. Each HELP Talk explores a particular research area or idea, allowing us to think about child development from a range of angles and to engage in conversation and learning with a variety of academic and community partners.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Candice Odgers, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California Irvine; Research Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, and Dr. Shimi Kang, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia; Founder, Provincial Youth Concurrent Disorders Program, BC Children’s Hospital, in an exploration of technology and adolescent mental health. Details are included below. Please RSVP to

Date: Thursday March 1st, 2018
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Location: Michael Smith Laboratories Lecture Theatre (room 102), 2185 East Mall, Vancouver, BC

Hosted by:
The Human Early Learning Partnership, School of Population and Public Health, UBC

Presented by:
Michael Kobor, PhD, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics, and Sunny Hill BC Leadership ...

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Register today! Taking a Closer Look at Sleep Webinar

Please join HELP Director, Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, on February 14th (3:30-4:30 PST) for a webinar dedicated to the critical role sleep plays in middle years well-being. Kim will unpack the trends we are seeing related to sleep on the MDI and discuss what schools, communities and families are doing to support healthy sleep habits. Register today!

What's coming in 2018?

Dear Friends, Partners and Supporters of HELP, 

I’d like to start 2018 by acknowledging that HELP operates on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Coast Salish peoples. We offer our sincere appreciation and gratitude to each of these Nations for allowing us to teach, learn, work and study each day on their traditional territory.

Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl, HELP’s Director, and I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing commitment of the members of our Aboriginal Steering Committee. They guide our program of research and reporting, support HELP in developing a deeper understanding of the social and cultural determinants of Aboriginal children’s health and well-being and nurture our understanding of cultural safety. Thank you.

Closing 2017

2017 was another rich year of progress at HELP.

Dr. Michael Kobor was appointed as the SunnyHill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development, with a commitment to lead a world class program of research about social epigenetics: how experience gets under the skin. Joanne Schroeder, a past HELP leader, received a Max Bell Foundation Policy Fellowship and has returned to HELP to push forward our commitment to early years systems leadership.

Our Faculty were also successful in ...

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HELP Talks 2018

Heard it mentioned? Seen the hashtag? Not sure what we are talking about?

HELP Talks are HELP faculty led events that focus on a particular area of human development from a research-to-practice perspective. Each HELP Talk explores a particular research area or idea, allowing us to think about child development from a range of angles and to engage in conversation and learning with a variety of academic and community partners.

This year’s HELP Talks promise to be some of the best yet. The first one will take place March 1st. Dr. Mike Kobor is pleased to welcome Dr. Candice Odgers, Research Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Faculty Research Scholar of DuPRI's Population Research Center, Affiliate of the Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University. We are also very excited to share that our April 18* HELP Talks will focus on HELP’s Aboriginal work and include members of our Aboriginal Steering Committee. Watch our newsletter and social media channels for more information and registration instructions.

*Please note the date has changed from April 16 to April 18. 

MDI: A New Year, New Learning and New Champions

HELP's MDI Trainer Network activities kick off on January 25th when MDI Champions Peter Dubinsky (Burnaby School District) and Janelle Zebedee and Tricia Penny (Central Okanagan School District) join us for an online conversation about using MDI school data. But this is just the beginning.

On February 14th, HELP Director Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl will host a special webinar dedicated to the critical role sleep plays in middle years well-being. She will unpack the trends we are seeing in MDI data and discuss what schools, communities and families are doing in an effort to support healthy sleep. And later this spring we will showcase our new inquiry-based workshop guides. The guides will help you to get started on your Making Change journey and connect you with leaders in the government and non-profit sectors who use MDI data for community-wide planning.

Please visit our Events and Training page to sign up for upcoming webinars. And don't forget to share and encourage change-makers in your community to join.

Thank You!

Over the months of November and December, 33,000 Grade 4 and Grade 7 children in British Columbia - and another 11,000 from across Canada – are sharing their thoughts, feelings and information about their experiences both in school and in their community. This is our seventh year of collecting MDI data and the largest collection of MDI data to date.

We could not do this without the support and dedication of teachers, administrators and the children themselves. Thank you to all teachers and administrators participating in MDI collection this fall. We are so grateful for your support. Watch for community reports in the spring.

BCCHR Healthy Starts Seminar – January 19, 2018

The Kobor Lab invites you to participate in the January 19th BCCHR Healthy Starts Seminar featuring Dr. David Rehkopf. A close collaborator with the Kobor Lab, Dr. Rehkopf, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Medical Disciplines, Stanford University will present “Examining Gene-Environment Interaction in Studies of Social Policy: The Effects of US New Deal Employment Policy on Height”. Please RSVP. 

Friday, January 19th, 2018
2:00 – 3:00 PM
Room BCCHR 3113

Early Years Conference 2018 and HELP Pre-Conference

In its third decade, the Early Years Conference continues to lead the field of professional development in early childhood development. This year's event, Strengthening Resilience in Today’s World - Leading with Kindness and Understanding, will explore the complex factors impacting children’s development, recognizing the essential aspect of nurturing relationships within families and in our professional roles as the cornerstone of strengthening children’s resilience. The conference will highlight many of the considerations and practices in work with young children and their families, particularly as we adapt to our rapidly changing society.

HELP is pleased to, once again, host a pre-conference as part of the Early Years Conference program. Entitled Supporting Compassion and Kindness in Children, our pre-conference offers an opportunity to explore aspects of social and emotional development across the early years and learn more about the science behind compassion and kindness. We are pleased to welcome Robert Roeser, PhD, Professor, Caring and Compassion and Human Development and Family Studies, College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Roeser will explore the roots of compassion in the early years and how compassion emerges as children develop. Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl will respond with observations about the ways ...

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