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Youth-Nex | The U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development

  • Mark Lipsey - Renowned for Meta-Analysis Work

    NOV 11


  • Preventing Gender-Based Violence in Middle Schools

    OCT 20


  • Job Opening - Compassionate Schools Project

    Project Associate


  • Beyond RCT

    New Publication in Prevention Science


  • Compassionate Schools Project in it's First Year

    Most comprehensive study ever undertaken of a 21st century health and wellness curriculum in an elementary or secondary school setting.


  • Save the Date: Global History of Black Girlhood Conference

    March 17-18, 2017



Youth-Nex Leads Research to Study Health and Wellness Curriculum for Elementary Students
Letter From the Director, Patrick Tolan: The Compassionate Schools Project








We are excited to announce the launch of a six-year, $11 million randomized control trial, the Compassionate Schools Project, integrating a health and wellness curriculum for elementary students. The research is the most comprehensive ever undertaken of a 21st century health and wellness curriculum in an elementary or secondary school setting and was developed for K-5 students in 25 schools in Louisville, Kentucky.

We have formed a unique collaboration with private philanthropy, two centers at U.Va. (including Youth-Nex), the city of Louisville, and the Jefferson County Public Schools and aim to have a major impact on children’s education nationwide in terms of academic performance, physical education, character development, and child health policies­. I am joined in this work with Youth-Nex faculty members Patricia Jennings and Alexis Harris.

The curriculum was developed with support from the Sonima and Hemera Foundations and the research is supported in part by UVA alumnus Owsley Brown III of Louisville, along with other donors.

It is also important to note that this work could not have been undertaken without the leadership of Louisville mayor, Greg Fischer a dedicated partner of the Charter of Compassion movement.

We look forward to reporting more progress in the coming months. Keep up with this project and other developments on this website and in Youth-Nex newsletters.

-Patrick Tolan
Director, Youth-Nex

More Information on the Project:
Compassionate Schools Project

Selected Press Coverage:
VIDEO snapshot of CSP
UVA TODAY - U.Va. Partners with Louisville Schools to Study Health and Wellness Curriculum
The Courier-Journal Compassion in Schools Great Step to Help Kids
WMRA - UVA Program Tests More 'Compassionate Schools'

The New York Times - Under Stress, Students in New York Schools Find Calm in Meditation
Press Conference Video
NPR - When Teachers Take a Breath, Students Can Bloom
For all News see the CSP NEWS PAGE

YOUTH-NEX  The Center to Promote Effective Youth Development — is a transdisciplinary center promoting healthy youth development, educational attainment and learning. Working across the University, Youth-Nex focuses on the assets of young people and works in a wide variety of areas including health management, civic engagement and education. Youth-Nex also aims to prevent youth problems such as violence, physical and mental health issues, substance abuse and school failure.

Youth-Nex programs of research focus on critical areas of youth development. These programs are multi-investigator, cross-disciplinary systematic research efforts. Each program is led by a U.Va. faculty member possessing substantial experience and expertise. It is our goal to generate new understanding about the most useful practices and appropriate policies in youth development.

Supportive Relationships 

Healthy Lifestyles 

Avoiding Risk

Engaged Citizenship 

Program Evaluation and Community Consultation






Compassionate Schools Project – Project Associate

10/20 - “First, Talk to the Adults: Preventing Gender-Based Violence in Middle Schools through a Trauma-Informed Community–Based Approach” - More

12/2/16 - Roger P. Weissberg, Ph.D. - "Enhancing the Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning of Preschool to High School Students Across the United States"

2/24/17 - Valerie Maholmes, Ph.D., CAS - "The Science of Hope and Why it Matters for Children and Families in Poverty

Jenny Roe, Ph.D. - “Natural Solutions To Tackling Behavior and Performance in Urban Schools” - 9/2/16 

“Remember the Paradox: Focusing on Youth in Global Mental Health Research” - Amanda Nguyen, Ph.D. - AUDIO

Special Video from the Monticello Event "Memory, Mourning, Mobilization: Legacies of Slavery and Freedom in America"

"Time to Mobilize: Youth Development Scholars and the Movement for Black Lives" by Mimi Arbeit, Ph.D. - Youth-Nex Blog 

The Power of the Internet for Positive Action – What One Little Girl Did to Change Her School

To Gauge the Health of Your Whole Community, Look to Your Teens

Are Kids Getting More Virtuous?

Youth Online - An Interactive Youth Behavior Data Exploration Tool


Interactive Books

Let's Talk After-School e-Book


Physical Health & Well-Being e-Book

Middle School e-Book

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