New Initiatives for 2020
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
After 10 years devoting our lives to childhood friendships, we continue to grow and expand. We have one overarching goal at URSTRONG: To empower as many kids around the world as possible with friendship skills.
Why are we so passionate about Friendship Skills?
- Positive relationships are the top protective factor against depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. The World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the leading cause of death in 2030 and research shows that poor social relationships are a major risk factor.
- Loneliness is being called a global epidemic and public health crisis. According to this American study, Gen Z is the loneliest demographic, while this Australian study found that 1 in 4 Aussies report feeling lonely. Research shows, to combat loneliness we need to promote social health.
- The Future of Jobs report continues to remind us that social-emotional skills are essential in our ever-changing workforce – interpersonal skills, connection, teamwork can’t be replaced by computers.
- Schools who prioritize the social-emotional wellbeing of children see students perform significantly better academically with increased confidence, improved pro-social behavior, and decreased conduct disorders.
We know at URSTRONG that children with happy, healthy friendships flourish at school.
It is sometimes assumed that children will naturally develop social skills by simply being in a social environment. While some kids born with a high EQ have an innate ability to form connections and get along with their peers, there are a large number of children who will not become social-emotionally competent without explicit instruction. In this 20-year study conducted by Penn State, children who entered Kindergarten lacking friendship skills (sharing, fairness, taking turns, helping others, etc) were less successful 20 years later. Those kids, sadly, didn’t just figure it out on the playground.
With all these things in mind, we continue to explore ways to reach and help even more kids. Here are a few of the exciting initiatives that are already in development for 2020:
- Year 7 to 9 Curriculum (with a focus on their online world)
- Early Years Curriculum (with a focus on emotional literacy for 3 to 5 year olds)
- Friendship Summit Conference in both Sydney and Melbourne (North America to be added in 2021)
- URSTRONG Sports (friendship and team-building training for coaches)
- Friendology 101 Online (weekly sessions for kids online with our Licensed Presenters)
We are absolutely committed to creating top-quality programming that transforms emerging research in positive psychology + wellbeing science into practical, meaningful strategies for kids, parents, and teachers.
If you are interested in getting involved in any of these initiatives, be sure to connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.