Merrell’s Strong Kids Curriculum


Merrell’s Strong Kids is a social and emotional learning curriculum, developed under the direction of the late Kenneth W. Merrell, PhD and with his research group at the University of Oregon, the Oregon Resiliency Project (ORP). Given the alarming rates of childhood mental health problems and subsequent poor access to services, this program focuses on primary prevention and early intervention.

Now in it’s 2nd edition, Merrell’s Strong Kids an easy-to-use, low cost, and practical approach to teaching students skills that can build resilience. Content is based on a cognitive-behavioral approach, using evidence-based instruction, and an opportunity to infuse everyday examples for your students. Ten to 12 lessons focus on identifying emotions in self and others, managing emotions, empathy and perspective taking, stress management, managing anger, setting goals, healthy living strategies, and solving interpersonal problems. Brief mindfulness practices are also an optional strategy to preparing students for each lesson.

Merrell’s Strong Kids is comprised of:

  • Merrell’s Strong Start PreK
  • Merrell’s Strong Start K-2
  • Merrell’s Strong Kids Grades 3-5
  • Merrell’s Strong Kids Grades 6-8, and
  • Merrell’s Strong Teens Grades 9-12

The curriculum has been evaluated with students across tier levels, a variety of geographic locations, and culturally diverse populations.

For more information on the program, research, and supportive materials, visit:

For more information on training, contact Barbara Gueldner at: or 970-761-0041.

Each level of Merrell’s Strong Kids is available separately from Paul H. Brookes Publishing

Per the wishes of the late Dr. Merrell, all royalties go to the Kenneth W. Merrell Legacy ScholarshipThis fund annually awards graduate students in the School Psychology Program at the University of Oregon who demonstrate promise for leadership and service in the field.