The solution is to create more ubiquitous experiences for children that promote wellbeing through the pathways of the 24 character strengths. Strong Cincinnati is a constellation of individuals and organizations in Cincinnati focused on infusing character strengths into the community for the benefits of all. We are fortunate to have a constellation of strong organizations to focus this work specifically on the well-being of children. These include:
- VIA Institute on Character – the world’s leading non-profit organization advancing the science and practice of character strengths – founded by Dr. Neal Mayerson in collaboration with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, the “father of positive psychology”. It offers the scientifically validated VIA Survey and associated results. It’s Education Director – Dr. Ryan Niemiec is the leading world expert on character science and the blending of mindfulness and character strengths.
- Mayerson Academy – a non-profit agency with 25 years of experience doing professional development for urban and suburban school districts. It has developed a best-in-class blended learning program for teachers, students, and parents that brings character science to life to create thriving learning communities. It has recently finished a year of offering Thriving Learning Communities in 42 urban middle schools with independent research results due by the end of the summer.
- Children Inc. – A 37 year old agency employing more than 200 people providing high quality early childhood education to more than 2,000 children daily. Running Parent Cafes, teacher trainings, learning circles, etc. Also developing a local HD Digital radio station featuring children’s songs from Growing Sound that has produced over 200 researched-based songs on social and emotional development, particularly character strengths. It will also feature expert panels, parent café sessions and other parenting resources.
- Beech Acres – A renowned 165 year old agency specializing in “Inspiring and equipping today’s parents, families, and communities to raise capable, caring, contributing children.”
- The Mayerson Family Foundation – Cincinnati-based family foundation known for catalyzing innovation, including the VIA Institute on Character. Providing catalytic support for Strong Cincinnati.
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children is a leading child advocacy center addressing child abuse and neglect and child well-being. Its Joining Forces for Children initiative seeks to build community awareness of ACEs and toxic stress and to identify strength-based solutions.
- Northern Kentucky University – local university with 15,000 students that is initiating a multi-year effort to integrate character strengths university-wide and to support Strong Cincinnati.
Strong Cincinnati uses the thread of character science to weave a tapestry of professional development in multiple service sectors; and public awareness and will to identify and deploy character strengths in service of child wellbeing.
SUMMARY OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- Training dozens of middle school teachers to employ a program of character strength development
- Training and coaching early childhood educators in character strengths
- Training Family Medicine residents to identify and use their own character strengths in their practice
- Training faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students of a major university to know and use their core strengths in whatever disciplines they work
SUMMARY OF PUBLIC AWARENESS AND WILL
- Parent cafes to encourage peer-to-peer learning to identify and use character strengths in parenting and to spot emerging character strengths in children
- Public messaging about the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress; and building strength-bases protective factors
- County administrators and business leaders learn about and use character strengths
- HD Digital public radio station with programs of research-based children's songs on character strengths and programs of parenting tips on strengths