Research up close

Research up close

Research up close

Researcher and child.

Children in JK and SK at different stages of development: Brock researcher, August 14, 2015

Most four-year-olds in Ontario will be starting a journey that hopefully will continue for many years to come: full-time school.

Full-day kindergarten is still relatively new, a concept that Brock developmental psychologist Caitlin Mahy says has many benefits but also needs careful practice. Traditionally, children began their schooling with kindergarten at the age of five years.

At the core of Mahy’s research observations is that one year makes a monumental difference.

“There’s this huge transition between four-year-olds and five-year-olds in things like memory, social understanding, and self-regulation,” says Mahy. “Four-year-olds are going to struggle with a lot of skills that five-year-olds aren’t going to struggle with.”

And that is something teachers and parents, who might be tempted to view all kindergarteners as being similar, need to understand and adjust for, she says.

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Shot of minister and client.

Brock programs helping keep Niagara’s seniors healthy and independent, August 11, 2015

Many studies have shown that physical activity is critically important for maintaining health during aging, but gym membership may be intimidating for some seniors.

With Niagara’s aging population, the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being, located on Lockhart Drive in St. Catharines, plays a key role in helping those over 55 to stay healthy, active, and independent, and may contribute to reduced health care costs.

On Monday, The Honorable Mario Sergio, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs, as well as St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, toured the Brock University facility, which houses a number of exercise programs for Niagara seniors.

The team at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being pursues innovative, multi-disciplinary research and provides community programs to improve health and quality-of-life for seniors including those with cardiac issues, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and amputees.

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Recess file shot.

Four years in, CHYS prof’s recess project continues to build fun into school day, May 20, 2015

Recess for students at seven elementary schools is a lot more fun thanks to Lauren McNamara and her Recess Project.

They now have clubs to join in winter and organized outdoor activities in which participate when the weather warms. It’s because the Child and Youth Studies professor has worked for four years to make school day breaks more inclusive and enjoyable - even if the students’ idea of fun is doing 100 push-ups during fitness bootcamp.

“We go with what kids want and the No. 1 thing, especially with winter, is clubs,” McNamara says. “Dance club, drama club, magic club, yoga, zumba, crafts, fitness bootcamp, amazingly. I was surprised at the interest in that.”

But McNamara isn’t surprised at the reason why students want to do more than stand outside, huddled in a doorway, waiting for the bell to ring and recess to end.

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