Spreading the Word about Heart-Mind Well-being

Maria LeRose at Burnaby Neighbourhood House

Since the start of the New Year, the Dalai Lama Center, led by Program Director Maria LeRose, has been promoting Heart-Mind well-being in a series of workshops with various community groups in Metro Vancouver. The goal of these workshops is to provide parents, educators and caregivers a framework for teaching and developing social and emotional competencies in children. 
 
In the workshops, Ms. LeRose presents some of the research that shows how intentionally cultivating positive human qualities from an early age can benefit children throughout their lives, not only in their relationships and well-being, but also academically. Participants learn about the five domains of Heart-Mind well-being – the ability to be secure and calm, alert and engaged, get along with others, solve problems peacefully and be compassionate and kind – and how each of these qualities can be taught to children.    
 
Over the last few months, hundreds of parents, caregivers, service providers and youth have participated in the workshops. The New Year started off with a symposium for local groups participating in the Windows of Opportunity project, which is funded by Success by Six and the Lower Mainland United Way. A great example of the types of Heart-Mind projects that have resulted from Windows of Opportunity can be found at the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House blog. The Heart-Mind symposium followed our meetings with Dr. Peter Senge and various school board members and administrators at the DLC offices on January 6th and 7th.
 
Heart-Mind Youth LeadersIn February, a group of talented teen leaders met to launch the Heart-Mind Youth Ambassadors in Vancouver. Many of the teens met the Dalai Lama in October, and will continue to work together to promote ways of improving the Heart-Mind well-being of youth in homes, schools and communities. Also in February, the DLC visited the Social and Emotional Learning Lower Mainland board to present the Heart-Mind learning framework and spread the news about the DLC’s new learning resource website, heartmindonline.org. Kicking off March, the DLC presented a workshop to representatives of a number of neighbourhood houses and community organizations. Held at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House, this event attracted over 100 participants from the Burnaby, South Vancouver, Cedar Cottage, Little Mountain, Collingwood, Frog Hollow, Mt. Pleasant and Kiwassa Kitsilano neighoubhood houses.
 
We look forward to future workshops with groups interested in the Heart-Mind framework for teaching children and youth. Upcoming Heart-Mind events in March include meetings with librarians from Vancouver Public Library branches, representatives from Children First, and the Windows of Opportunity project wrap-up event.
 

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