Middle Childhood Learning Summit - April 23, 2014 Registration now closed


Experiences in middle childhood (ages 6 to 12) have critical and long lasting effects on learning, health and wellbeing and are powerful predictors of adolescent adjustment and adult success. This summit will focus on the rights of the child during this sensitive period in human development. How can we ensure that the voices of children are heard and their rights are observed?

This FREE event is designed to bring together British Columbians working with and for children in their middle years to discuss the importance of a child rights approach in improving outcomes for children. Join us for several keynote presentations and hands-on workshops to learn about how governments and practitioners alike can adapt research, policies and programming to reflect child rights in a more meaningful way.

Registration is now closed.

Thank you for your interest in this event. The Middle Childhood Learning Summit is now full. For questions, please contact the Society for Children and Youth of BC:


8:30am-11:30am             Keynote Presentations and Panel
11:30am-12:30pm           Lunch Break*
12:30pm-1:00pm             Keynote Presentation
1:15pm-2:00pm               Workshop Block 1
2:15pm-3:00pm               Workshop Block 2
3:15pm-4:00pm               Panel and Closing

*Please note that lunch will NOT be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring lunch or visit a nearby downtown restaurant.


Full Schedule:

8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-9:00 Welcoming

9:00-9:45 Keynote - Why Child Rights are important 

               Dr. Katherine Covell and Dr. Brian Howe

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) presents us with a global set of standards for children and childhood. Learn from academic experts how this international instrument provides a framework for action and has evidence-based results in improving the wellbeing of children.

9:45-10:30 Keynote - The Right to Wellbeing: What do the children say?

                Dr. Kimberley Schonert-Reichl

The UNCRC provides us with a framework to guide action on a Middle Childhood agenda.  It underpins the five dimensions of the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), dimensions that are essential for healthy development during the middle childhood years. These 5 dimensions are assessed through the MDI - a self-report survey that provides information from the children themselves about their wellbeing and the assets that support their development. There is currently data on the MDI from almost 27,000 4th and 7th grade children in BC. This presentation will highlight some of this work along with some initial findings on links between the EDI and MDI.

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:30 Panel - How do we build happy, healthy and resilient children? 

                   Dr. Kimberley Schonert- Reichl, Dr. Katherine Covell and Dr. Brian Howe

This panel discussion will draw on research and academic knowledge from experts in their respective fields as they discuss the utility of a child rights approach and illustrate tangible links between child rights and their wellbeing.

11:30-12:30  Lunch Break

12:30-1:00    Keynote - The change respect can have!

                   Sarah Burke - Director of RespectED: Violence and Abuse Prevention, Canadian Red Cross

Applying a new lens to the work that an existing organization does can be a challenge but also very rewarding. Learn about the implementation of the RespectEd program within the Canadian Red Cross from the challenges and success, with a macro to micro lens.

1:15-2:00      Workshop Session 1

2:15-3:00      Workshop Session 2

*Please note that each workshop will run twice. This will allow participants to attend 2 workshops of their choice.

We encourage you to register for an afternoon workshop that examines a different scope of work than what you would consider to be your typical role at work. For example, if you work in direct programming, consider taking a workshop that touches on policy or planning. Social change can be made at many different levels, within and outside your organization.

Workshop Topics:

1. Bolstering the wellbeing of children through participation and play!

     Presenters: Angie Osachoff - Equitas, Daljit Gill Badesha- City of Surrey

Join Equitas and the City of Surrey in exploring the Play it Fair! model of teaching children values and human rights through experiential learning. 

2. It takes a community

     Presenters: Helen Davidson - Richmond Children First and Lynne Reside- Children First Okanagan

How can the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child be implemented at a local level in BC? Join Lynne and Helen to hear how two communities have engaged children and built community support for children's rights. Gain tips, tools and inspiration for your own child rights projects, sized to fit your community.

3. Implementing children's rights in schools

     Presenters: Dr. Katherine Covell and Dr. Brian Howe

This workshop is based on a decade of research with schools in England with children at kindergarten, elementary and junior high school levels. Using videos of children in rights-based schools in the UK, and an interactive approach, Dr Howe and Dr. Covell will demonstrate means of implementing children’s rights, and the value of incorporating rights into daily classroom curricula and school practices. They will examine the responses of children, teachers and administrators to rights-based schooling.

4. Children in the city

     Presenters: Andrea Lemire and Anique Ross - Society for Children and Youth of BC and John Stark - City of New Westminster

The Society for Children and Youth of BC and the City of New Westminster have partnered to develop a child and youth friendly community strategy. Learn how a child, youth, and family engagement project and focus on child rights are integral to this crucial work.

5. Advocating for the rights, interests and wellbeing of children

     Presenters: Brooke Hykaway and Ruth Forsythe - Office of the Representative for Children and Youth

An independent Office of the legislature, the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) advocates for the province’s most vulnerable populations. RCY will share how they are working to increase their community and youth engagement and advance child friendly practices.

3:15-4:00 Panel and Closing Plenary

The Child Rights Approach: What does it mean to our organizations? 

  Panelists: Joanne Schroeder - Human Early Learning Partnership, Angie Osachoff - Equitas, Andrea Lemire -Society for Children and Youth of BC and Chinu Das - United Way of the Lower Mainland

United Way of the Lower Mainland, Equitas - the International Centre for Human Rights Education, Society for Children and Youth of BC and the Human Early Learning Partnership have all supported a Child Rights framework in different ways. How do they incorporate it into their work and why do they support it?

This full day event is FREE and open to the public.

For further information please contact: info@scyofbc.org

This summit is presented by United Way of the Lower Mainland, in partnership with Equitas and the Society for Children and Youth of BC and supported by the Human Early Learning Partnership