Brazil trip strengthens global partnership

Brazil trip strengthens global partnership

24 Aug 2018     By Katie Ballue

Holly Hatton-Bowers, assistant professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies and early childhood extension specialist, was invited to present her early childhood work at the Universidade Federal Rural De Pernambuca (UFRPE) in Recife, Brazil over the summer. Her current research is rooted in contemplative practices to promote the well-being of caregivers and children which is of interest to Brazilian colleagues at UFRPE.

Hatton-Bowers shared promising evidence of a program she developed in 2017 with Nebraska Extension Educators LaDonna Werth, Jaci Foged, and Carrie Gottschalk. The eight week program, Cultivating Healthy Intentional Mindful Educators (CHIME), intends to support and enhance the well-being of early childhood professionals who provide care to young children and their families, such as childhood educators and home visitors. She also shared a children’s yoga program and a mindfulness-based preschool intervention.

Hatton-Bowers received the invitation to present her work from UFRPE professors Pompéia Villachan-Lyra, Hugo Monteiro Ferreira, and Emmanuelle Chaves. Professor Villachan-Lyra is part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln/Brazil Early Childhood Partnership focused on evidence-based processes and practices. The visit also consisted of discussions of potential partnerships to implement mindfulness and reflection-based interventions for young children and educators in both Nebraska and Recife, Brazil. Professor Hugo Monteiro Ferriera presented his work using mindfulness activities to mitigate cyber bullying among youth. He also shared his research on using mindfulness and reflection in higher education to promote the well-being of both educators and students.

Time was also spent touring early childhood centers (CEMEI Paulo Rosas and Madre de Deus School), a community center (Neimfa) and a Tibetan Temple (Campo Grande).

The connection between UFRPE and Nebraska is stronger than ever, with this trip providing an opportunity to innovate and learn together. Faculty at both institutions are excited to identify more ways to partner around critically important issues facing early care and education in Nebraska and Recife, Brazil. Hatton-Bowers is enthusiastic about further developing this partnership, and looks forward to interdisciplinary research collaborations that have a global impact and that aim to enhance the lives of children, families, and educators. Hatton-Bowers is part of a group of faculty that are increasing global awareness in research and outreach while still having a dramatic and important local impact.

Child, Youth and Family Studies