To our URSTRONG Community,

Like many of you, we’ve been closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 outbreak over the past month.  We’ve been working with a number of our URSTRONG Schools who were among the first impacted in hopes of determining how we can best support our global community of kids, parents, and teachers. I’m optimistic that proactive and level-headed leadership, coupled with a strong collective spirit, will help us create a blueprint of collaborative global action for (and with) our children.

Here are a few steps that we’ll be taking to lend a hand:

  1. We’ve postponed all URSTRONG workshops indefinitely and have accelerated our plans to provide online workshops scheduled in the coming weeks. These workshops will cover the core lessons from our Language of Friendship (parent-child) events while also including tips on how to maintain relationships and develop new friendship skills during a school closure and self-isolation period. An extended Q&A period will be offered after each session, allowing parents to get direct advice on supporting their children at home.

  2. School closures promise to bring unique challenges to schools and parents alike and we feel the most valuable role we can play is by supporting families.  Effective immediately we will be providing parents with free lifetime access to our URSTRONG Family membership. This includes our Language of Friendship video series as well as our Parent Resource Centre with extensive activities, articles, and videos for parents to share with their kids. To access this complimentary membership please visit here and use the coupon code URSTRONG.

  3. Later this week, we’ll also be launching a Virtual URSTRONG Classroom that includes daily live lessons with our Founder, Dana Kerford, on key topics including loneliness, anxiety, social media and more. Be sure to visit our events page in the coming days, as we’ll be have events catering to North American and Australian/Asian time zones.

Times like these usually bring out the best in people, often expressed in the simple question: “How can I help?” I’m hopeful that our efforts can add a layer of comfort to school communities around the world by relieving some anxiety and providing kid-friendly lessons on friendship. If you’re a teacher or administrator that’s looking for creative ways to connect with your students and parents during school closures please don’t hesitate to contact me directly – we’re here to help!

We look forward to walking alongside you in the weeks ahead.

Michael Kerford

Note: an article that I found personally insightful in understanding the need to act now was written by Tomas Pueyo and can be found here.