MindUP for Young Children

The 2018-19 MindUP team

Photo (L-R): Nicole Bullock (Communications Coordinator), Sue Kim (Project Manager), Mostafa Shokoohi (Research Assistant), Terry Spencer (LDCSB Research and Evaluation Officer), Sandra Savage (LDCSB Mental Health lead and Social Work Supervisor), Courtney Cadieux (MA Student), Emilia Pacholec (MA Student), Sarah Wells (Research Coordinator), Melissa Read (MA Student), Karen Bax (Director, Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount), Claire Crooks (Director, Centre for School Mental Health)

The MindUP for Young Children project is implementing and evaluating a mindfulness-informed, evidence-based social and emotional learning intervention within a trauma-informed framework to full-day kindergarten children in the London District Catholic School Board and a community-based organization, Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre. This project has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Ontario's Local Poverty Reduction Fund. 

The project builds on MindUP, which is a universal school and mindfulness-based education program that incorporates social-emotional learning into 15, teacher-led lessons. These lessons integrate attentional, self-regulatory, social and emotional strategies for children. Lesson topics include: How Our Brains Work, Mindful Listening, Perspective Taking, Choosing Optimism, and Expressing Gratitude.

The MindUP lessons are also adapted into parent sessions and implemented with Merrymount families in concurrent weekly sessions for parents and young children. There is also a component where the parents and children work together to help reinforce transferring the skills to their everyday lives.

The Trauma-Informed Framework informs educators on why they should meet their children’s needs, even if challenged with external stressors and adversity. The MindUP program helps educators learn how to stay attuned and responsive in their relationships with their children.

Led by Dr. Claire Crooks and Dr. Karen Bax, the MindUP for Young Children project wrapped up the second year of implementation in 2018. MindUP was completed in a Trauma-Informed Framework in 35 LDCSB classrooms. Results from the 2017-2018 school year are available below.  

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