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What is POP?

The Parent Outreach Project (POP) is an initiative at the Child Development Labs at BU that aims to establish stronger ties with our community. POP has a dual mission to both facilitate our research in developmental psychology with others and explain how we conduct our science. We depend on families, schools and community groups that are willing to participate in our studies. As researchers and educators, we seek to share important findings from developmental psychology with others and explain how we conduct our science.  We have also found that parents, teachers, children and others have a great deal to teach us about child development! Through the POP initiative we create a productive and ongoing conversation with the community about child development.

Connecting with diverse populations.

Families living in the Boston area come from a wide range of backgrounds, and diversity is one of the strengths of our hometown.  Diversity exists on many levels: racial and ethnic, cultural and religious, economic and educational.  One of the goals of POP is to extend our contact with diverse communities across the Boston area.  We recognize the importance of individual and group differences and seek to understand the many pathways of healthy child development.  We also recognize that large segments of the population are often left out of conversations about child development research and policy.  We hope to bridge this gap by establishing a two-way conversation with parents, teachers and community organizations.  We do this by partnering with local organizations that are trusted and established in serving their communities.

What does partnering mean?

Through the Parent Outreach Project, we establish voluntary associations with organizations that serve local parents and families.  We meet with each organization to determine how we can work together.  Our developmental psychologists give talks and hold discussions with parent groups and staff members tailored to their interests.  We attend family events where we talk to parents about our research and invite them to participate in studies at our labs.  We also bring fun activities for children to these events.  As a new initiative, we are interested in creative approaches to advancing our research and educational missions with our partners.


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