BOOST aims to create an innovative approach in order to strengthen social and emotional skills among children and young people in school, so as to promote mental health and well-being.
Many school-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have proven effective in increasing social well-being and academic achievement in children. They have also had positive long-term effects such as increased success in the labor market and life in general. Studies have demonstrated that students exposed to SEL activities feel safer and more connected to schools and academics, build good work habits, social skills and stronger relationships with peers and teachers (Zins et al., 2004), and thus strongly contribute to the promotion of mental well-being in the young.
However, a number of shortcomings of these programs have been identified, which may compromise their sustainability and long-term effect. One criticism is that they are time-consuming and compromise academic teaching time. Furthermore, they are often implemented by outside experts, and not by the regular schoolteachers, and as such are not integrated into general teaching, and not anchored sufficiently at all levels of school organization.
General project description:
The project, launched in January 2018, has a duration of 4 years and is financed by the HORIZON 2020 programme (under Grant Agreement No: 755175).
The overall aim of the BOOST project is to develop, implement, and test a new SEL-based population approach to promote mental health and well-being in primary school children.
The approach will then be implemented in mainstream school environments and academic teaching by class-teachers themselves. This will ensure school acceptance of the approach and it will indirectly target many more children. Through this cascade effect, the overall aim of increasing resilience and mental well-being in large and diverse populations of children will be obtained.