Post COVID-19, it has been observed that families speak less with each other than ever, even though families with children from 0 to 6 years are spending more time together. Several types of research have shown that COVID-19 had a negative impact on children’s social and emotional capacities. Early family relationships are essential for children’s social and emotional learning (SEL).
Elevated rates of social-emotional and conduct problems, peer problems, and behavior problems are reported by parents and kindergarten teachers from all backgrounds. In response to the challenge and supported by the LEGO Foundation, the partnership of BOOKR Kids (Hungary), Learning Planet Institute (France), HarperCollins (USA), and COPUBLICA (Denmark) will deliver the world’s first family-oriented social-emotional learning solution for 10 million family members on 5 continents., based on intergenerational storytelling for early childhood development.
The focus of the project is social-emotional learning at home for children aged 0 to 6. Less verbal communication in families negatively impacts academic performance, healthy relationships, and mental wellness. Early family relationships are essential for children’s social and emotional learning (SEL). The partnership will promote SEL to families with preschool children by motivating them to share family stories through innovative playful digital and non-digital tools. The mission is to empower children to experience higher levels of self-awareness, interpersonal skills, self-management, social awareness, and empathy.
The new solution includes digital and non-digital tools, community and family outreach, SEL expertise, and advocacy for SEL policies that will transform and impact the well-being and holistic development of children aged 0-6. The team has strong evidence that the approach will work in the context described and has solid and proven mechanisms for learning and assessment in place.
Families are children’s first teachers and are essential to promoting social and emotional learning (SEL). The preschool years represent a critical time period for the development of basic social, emotional, and communication skills. As the maturity of SEL in government structures is uneven, the proposed solution has been designed to influence and help governments to accelerate specific actions for SEL.
Talking to the media Dorka Horvath, CEO, BOOKR Kids said “We are incredibly happy to be working with the LEGO Foundation to support social-emotional learning on an initially 5 continents to reach 10 million family members. The power of stories can change the world and we are so happy to be part of doing that.”
The solution will benefit both children and their family members. They can share stories from conversations in a playful and meaningful way together. It will have a broad impact on wide geography and reach five continents. It prioritizes families with young children and centers around these families’ ability to share stories with each other and their communities. The impact that the solution will have on the early years of SEL will be significant because every single story and family conversation has the power to change a child’s life.
Based on years of experience in developing similar technology, the partnership will deliver an easy-to-use storytelling app that families can use on any device. To create a family story, the user will choose from different SEL-oriented topics. For families without internet access, a personal family scrapbook guide will be posted in local newspapers.
Brian Baptista CEO, COPUBLICA added “This project is what I have been dreaming of. Because of the support from the LEGO Foundation, we have all the tools and resources to make a genuine and sustainable difference to children in their important early years. I feel blessed to be working on this project with such amazingly talented and experienced people at BOOKR Kids, HarperCollins, and Learning Planet Institute. My company COPUBLICA will use our technology to drive SEL learning to families around the world and we could not be more excited about getting started”
Furthermore, the team will engage with local ministries, local NGOs, and other local community stakeholders. These organizations have many existing social and educational programs for families. The partnership will offer them the solution to fuel their efforts. This will increase not only the solution ́s overall project sustainability and impact – but also elevate other initiatives to improve children’s well-being.
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