For children, the social dynamics of a class can make or break a school year. Friendships have a huge impact on learning experiences and the wellbeing of students, parents, and teachers alike. With alliance-building, exclusion and gossip happening in classrooms daily, teachers are bombarded with the word “bullying”, spending countless hours managing kids’ friendship dramas!
It is no surprise that friendship issues are the #1 cause of stress and anxiety among children. To improve student achievement and wellbeing, children must first learn to understand, navigate and respond accordingly to the social world around them. Giving kids the social-emotional foundation to be better friends and develop healthier friendships is at the heart of helping them flourish. In creating a positive, harmonious learning environment, relationships are everything.
In this keynote presentation, Dana Kerford will introduce educators to language, skills, and practical strategies that they can use in their classrooms to make complicated social situations much simpler. With kid-friendly terminology and skills-based activities, educators will learn a simple framework for effectively guiding students towards conflict-resolution and healthy relationships. Through her dynamic, interactive presentation, Dana hopes to empower educators to improve the social climate in their classrooms and inspire kinder school cultures.

About Dana
Dana is a Teacher, Friendship Expert and the Founder of URSTRONG, an internationally-recognized social-emotional wellbeing program for kids.
After starting her career as a 4th grade teacher in Canada, Dana began to recognize the complexity and intensity of childhood friendships. Motivated to create cultures of kindness in schools and eradicate bullying, Dana launched her first skills-based friendship program in 2009.
With a team of Presenters and a curriculum designed for educators, Friendology 101, URSTRONG has inspired students globally to strengthen relationship and conflict-resolution skills. Dana has been featured by numerous media and has presented at education conferences across North America and Australia. URSTRONG’s groundbreaking efforts in empowering children in friendships, led to Dana’s participation in an exclusive conference on gender equality at the White House in 2016.
A mother of two and an educator, Dana is passionate about empowering children with the skills, language, and self-confidence to develop healthier relationships.