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Promoting student resilience and teaching social and emotional skills in children and adolescents

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Strong Kids is an initiative developed at the University of Oregon as part of the Oregon Resiliency Project, aimed at providing brief and practical learning tools for promoting student resiliency, teaching social and emotional skills, strengthening resources, and increasing coping skills in children and adolescents. Strong Kids programs are appropriate for students in grades K-12, with tools broken down by school grade categories and aimed at developmentally appropriate audiences, including high functioning, typical, and at risk youths, as well as students with emotional and behavioral disorders.

The Strong Kids curriculums include Strong Start, aimed at younger students, Strong Kids aimed at middle school students, and Strong Teens designed for high school students, with each including a handful of short lessons to be conducted by teachers with age-relevant foci for each age group.  The curriculum for younger students, for example, includes the naming of basic feelings and how to manage anxiety, worry, and fear; middle school students are taught to identify comfortable and uncomfortable feelings and to develop strategies for offsetting negative thinking.  Teens learn to focus on appropriate ways to express feelings and basic steps towards establishing and achieving realistic goals. Strong Kids also provides several assessment tools for each age range which can be used to measure students’ social-emotional outcomes as they relate to the goals established by the Strong Kids programs.