CES Early Childhood Team Begins Nurturing Caring Kids Program

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Article Author: Kathryn Levesque
Publication Name: Collaborative for Educational Services
Article Date: 3/20/2018
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Northampton, MA — The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) in Northampton, MA has announced that their Early Childhood team is beginning work on the new CES Nurturing Caring Kids Program, thanks to support from the Greater Good Science Center and their parenting foundation. GGSC was awarded the project a $50,000 grant in February.

The program is led by Dr. Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias, Director of Early Childhood at CES, and Corky Klimczak, Project Coordinator, and seeks to increase the understanding among adults who work with parents and children of the importance and benefits of being intentional about encouraging positive social values and behavior, focusing specifically on gratitude and generosity. By creating a program that is grounded in science and provides specific engaging and enjoyable activities that enable parents to teach these values to their children, it aims to increase expressions of gratitude and instances of generous, caring behavior in the children whose families participate in the program.

Said Dr. Lalbeharie-Josias, “We are filled with gratitude and joy to receive this funding support from the Greater Good Science Center, and we appreciate the opportunity to do this very important work. We are grateful for funders and researchers who recognize the critical importance of social emotional development in young children and the urgent need to support positive parenting with research-based practices. We’ve heard from many parents we have served over the years who have expressed the hope that their children will be thankful and appreciative as well as caring and generous to others, so we know that these values will resonate with many parents.”

The project will share research and tools to support the intentional teaching of gratitude and generosity with adults from different disciplines in the same community, and will develop a set of parenting education materials and activities for 3 age groups based on the science documenting the benefits of encouraging gratitude and generosity. The materials created by the project, along with summaries of the science that supports an intentional focus on gratitude and generosity, will be widely publicized and made available to all on the CES website to enable their use in communities beyond those that are selected to participate in the pilot or initial train the trainer teams.

The project will run from April of 2018 to March of 2020. CES will  send a representative to two separate convenings that will be hosted by the Greater Good Science Center in the San Francisco Bay Area, which provide an opportunity for the grantees to learn from the other grantees and scientific experts, work on their evaluation plans, and share insights and “lessons learned” from their projects.

Based at UC Berkeley, the Greater Good Science Center provides a bridge between the research community and the general public.The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Since 2001, the Center has been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life.


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