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Reaching In...Reaching Out. Promoting Resilience in Young Children

By: Donna Lero, Kathleen Brophy

Reaching IN...Reaching OUT Project (RIRO)  is an innovator in researching and promoting resilience on various levels. RIRO's original initiative, and still the cornerstone of its work, was to adapt and evaluate the Penn Resilience Program (PRP) school-age model for use with children six years and younger. The PRP is based on many years of systematic research on depression prevention by Dr. Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania. This program helps children learn to Reach IN to think more flexibly and accurately and to Reach OUT to others and opportunities.

RIRO's training is designed to help early childhood educators (ECEs) and other child-serving professionals to become more aware of their own beliefs about adversity and opportunity. ECEs in RIRO pilot centres (including the University of Guelph Child Care and Learning Centre) were taught, and practiced, evidence-based techniques that have been demonstrated to increase flexibility and accuracy in thinking, thus aiding development of more efficacy in analyzing and solving problems, and maintaining a sense of realistic optimism when faced with obstacles/adversity. To date, RIRO has trained more than 3,500 professionals and paraprofessionals to use the skills with children, their colleagues and families. RIRO has also expanded into resiliency promotion initiatives for parents, leaders and organizations in multiple sectors.

The Centre for Families Work and Well-Being is part of the Child and Family Partnership, which has sponsored Reaching IN...Reaching Out since 1998.

Find out more on the Reaching IN...Reaching OUT website.

Or contact: Donna Lero:

This project was funded by Human Resources Development Canada (now known as Human Resources and Skills Development Canada).