Heart-Mind Early Years Initiative

The Dalai Lama Center staff, led by Program Director, Maria LeRose, were pleased to participate in the final celebration event for the Vancouver Heart-Mind Early Years Initiative on Saturday March 28 at Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House. Approximately 50 parents and staff from the 18 community agencies that participated in the initiative were in attendance to share their projects and success stories. 

Over the past three months, each of the agencies piloted a range of highly creative projects to incorporate the Heart-Mind learning framework into their family and early childhood care programs. Projects demonstrating the five positive qualities of Heart-Mind well-being included: community quilt making, board games about compassion, sharing cultural stories about kindness, train the trainer workshops, family dance and teaching about emotions.

It was wonderful to see these projects come to fruition over the past few months, and it was especially exciting for us at the Dalai Lama Center to see the positive impact our Heart-Mind framework being passed on from us, to parents and early years staff, and finally to the hundreds of children across Vancouver who were involved in these programs. The smiles, sense of sharing and community, and general well-being felt by everyone who participated was truly heart warming.

At the end of the event, the Heart-Mind Community Photo Journal was presented to the group. The photo journal includes descriptions and photos of each agency's project, with staff, kids and families engaging in Heart-Mind activities. We'd like to give a special thanks to Windows of Opportunity Project Manager, Helen Davidson, who compiled the photos and quotes from each agency, and the DLC's David Samis, who designed the colourful keepsake for everyone who was involved in the Heart-Mind Early Years Initiative. 

This project was an incredible success, and the Dalai Lama Center hopes to continue to work with groups of agencies on community projects like this. We believe these kinds of Early Years Inititiatives not only help to teach parents and support staff the value of incorporating the Heart-Mind framework into Early Learning programs, but also directly benefits the families and children who participate. 

Written by David Samis, Photos by Angela Lee


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