What is ECCAO©?
Expanding Children's Caring About Others is a program designed to increase the civility of children in the home and early school environments. Established in 2003, the program's purpose is to help parents, teachers, and even school staff, who are also caregivers in a child’s life, provide children with positive interpersonal skills and effective conflict resolution techniques. The program’s goal is for these students to be involved in healthier peer relationships, develop better and more positive views of their parents, and to be more successful in school. One important aspect of this program includes the education of school teachers and personnel about anger recognition, anger de-escalation, and interpersonal skills development. The children’s behaviors and interactions are observed every other year beginning in kindergarten through high school graduation, with a new group of kindergarten classes added to the study every year. The study’s early results show significant positive changes in the children’s behavior as a result of the positive interpersonal skills they' are developing. Similar studies have also shown improved school achievement and less reliance on special education or social support services as students move into the upper grades. By introducing positive factors in a child’s earliest years, ECCAO hopes the skills learned will develop and influence the child throughout their lives.