issues and experts

SFU expert’s No Child Alone social network connects children during pandemic

November 17, 2020

SFU professor Alissa Antle is addressing the negative impacts of COVID-19 on children’s mental well-being with her latest research project—an online social network for children called No Child Alone. The network aims to support children’s social and emotional learning during the pandemic. 

“There's really nothing for eight to 12-year-olds in terms of safe, private social media connections, or private networks, that give them support around social emotional learning, or the fallouts of COVID-19,” she says. 

Once operational, children who join the No Child Alone online community would be moderated by an adult and also have some autonomy to interact with each other and connect directly to resources they might need. 

Antle is launching the app prototype with Curatio as a pilot with a limited number of children, and will expand it as further funding becomes available. The research is currently funded by a $105,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) COVID-19 Alliance grant. Work on the project began in August and the team hopes to launch a co-design study with children this coming winter.

Antle is working in partnership with Curatio, a digital health company that develops peer-to-peer online support communities. 

Led by founder and CEO Lynda Brown-Ganzert, chair emerita of SFU’s board of governors, Curatio’s technical expertise on private social networks pairs well with Antle’s expertise in how digital technology can support social emotional learning interventions for children. 



Alissa Antle, professor, School of Interactive Arts & Technology  
604.619.2290 | 

Lynda Brown-Ganzert, CEO, Curatio
604.340.7997 |



Matt Kieltyka,  SFU Communications & Marketing 
236.880.2187 |

Simon Fraser University 
Communications & Marketing | SFU Media Experts Directory 


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