The Start2Finish Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) was formed in 2011, providing Start2Finish with stellar, highly respected national research support.

The SAG is comprised of some of Canada’s leading researchers who have recognized the Running & Reading Club program as a solution that comprehensively and effectively addresses the social determinants that impact the health, education, behaviour and, therefore, future of children living in poverty. They applaud the innovative way that the Running & Reading Club addresses the health and development (physical, social, emotional, cognitive) of the children who participate. The combination of physical activity and learning (the Running & Reading Club is the only known after-school program in the nation that does this), and the mentorship and inclusion, are key elements of the Running & Reading Clubs that all of our researchers are viewing as critical.

Your Running and Reading pan-Canada Initiative fills the void I was looking for, given what is known about exercise, neuroscience, the outdoors, skill building, and commitment to everyone being able to read. I don’t think it would be much of stretch to say your initiative is akin to the Polio Vaccine in its ability to prevent crippling and (slow) death, providing the boost, not to the immune system, but to the “Vitality-Alive” system.
— Dr. Lee Ford-Jones
 

DR LEE FORD-JONES, 
Infectious Disease Specialist and clinical researcher at the hospital for sick children (department of pediatrics) and professor of pediatrics at the university of Toronto

Dr. Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones has special interests in vaccine-preventable diseases, childhood encephalitis, congenital infections and infections in Daycare centre attendees. Dr. Ford-Jones is Co-Editor of the Canadian Paediatric Society Journal, Paediatrics and Child Health. She has been a member of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the Canadian Paediatric Society Infectious Diseases and Immunization Committee. She was Project Director for the CPS book addressing the health and safety of children in child care centre and family day care home, Well Beings – a guide to the physical health, safety and emotional well-being in Childcare Centres and Family Day Care Homes. She was also involved with the initiation of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s book, Children and Youth New to Canada.


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DR Jean Clinton,
child psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor, department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster university, division of child psychiatry

Dr. Clinton is on staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital and an Associate in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster. In addition, she is an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sick Children’s Hospital; and an Associate Member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies. She has been a consultant to child welfare and children’s mental health programs for 25 years. Currently, Dr. Clinton is a consultant with the Telepsychiatry at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto.


DR KRISTI ADAMO, 
SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST FOR THE HEALTHY ACTIVE LIVING AND OBESITY RESEARCH GROUP (HALO) AT THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF EASTERN ONTARIO (CHEO)

Dr. Adamo earned her MSc in physiology from the University of Guelph, Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Science and her PhD in cellular and molecular medicine from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine. She is currently a Research Scientist with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and an Assistant Professor in Human Kinetics and the Department of Paediatrics at Ottawa University. Her research interests include childhood obesity and its metabolic consequences, lifestyle intervention, and life course of obesity, specifically early determinants.


Dr brian Timmons, 
lead researcher and director of the child health and nutrition centre at McMaster children's hospital 

Dr. Brian Timmons is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. He also holds status as Associate Member in the Department of Kinesiology, is a Scientist with the McMaster Child Health Research Institute, an Investigator with the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology at Brock University.


DR STUART SHAKER, 
DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY AT YORK UNIVERSITY AND DIRECTOR OF THE MILTON AND ETHEL HARRIS RESEARCH INITIATIVE AT YORK UNIVERSITY 

Dr. Shanker was educated at Oxford, where he obtained a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and a B Phil and D Phil in Philosophy. In addition to the above, Dr. Shanker is also Co-Director of the Council for Human Development and has recently been appointed as the President of the Council for Early Child Development (CECD). In recent years, he has learned a great deal about brain development in a child’s first 3 years of life, and believes that an alarming number of children are not receiving the experiences they need. He views the SAG as an excellent opportunity to put science into action for children in communities.


dr faye mishna, 
dean, factor-inwentash faculty of social work, univeristy of toronto; professor, department of psychiatry, university of toronto; professor, department of social work, hospital for sick kids

Prior to joining the Faculty at U of T, Dr. Mishna was Clinical Director of Integra, a children’s mental health centre serving children and youth with learning disabilities. She is a Fellow of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities. Professor Mishna’s program of research is focused on: bullying; cyber abuse/cyber bullying and cyber counselling; and school-based interventions for students with learning disabilities. An integral component of her research entails collaboration with community agencies and organizations. Her scholarly publications have focused on bullying, social work education and clinical practice.


DR ADELE DIAMOND
Canada Research chair professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience, department of psychiatry, university of british colombia; professor, division of child and adolescent psychiatry, bc children's hospital

The work of Dr. Adele Diamond, Ph.D., integrates developmental, cognitive, neuroscience, and molecular genetic approaches to examine fundamental questions about the development of the cognitive control abilities that rely on a region of the brain known as ‘prefrontal cortex’ and has changed medical practice worldwide for the treatment of PKU (phenylketonuria) and for the type of ADHD without hyperactivity. Her recent work, including a paper in the journal, Science, is affecting early education practices around the world


DR DOUGLAS WILLMS, 
PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL POLICY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK (UNB); FELLOW OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA; FELLOW OF THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF EDUCATION; MEMBER OF THE US NATIONAL ACADEMY OF EDUCATION

Dr. Willms has published over two hundred research articles and monographs pertaining to youth literacy, children’s health, the accountability of schooling systems, and the assessment of national reforms.  He also played a lead role in developing the questionnaires for Canada’s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) and the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Recently, Willms and his colleagues designed the Early Years Evaluation (EYE), an instrument for the direct assessment of children’s developmental skills at ages 3 to 6, and Tell Them From Me, an evaluation system for the continuous monitoring of school climate and student engagement and wellness.


DR LYN SHARRATT
LECTURER AND COORDINATOR, DOCTORAL COHORT - LEADERSHIP AND LEARNING, EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM, OISE/UT; COORDINATOR, EDUCATIONAL DOCTORAL COHORT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THEORY AND POLICY STUDIES, OISE/UT

In 2002, Dr. Sharratt was named Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services in York Region District School Board (YRDSB) and is Research Associate for YRDSB, coordinating external research focused on increasing student achievement. She is also the lead author of Realization: The Change Imperative in Deepening District-Wide Reform, co-authored with Michael Fullan. Dr. Sharratt’s research focus includes whole System Reform and increasing ALL Students’ Achievement through Intentional Assessment and Instructional Practices.


DR TRACY VAILLANCOURT
PROFESSOR AND CANADA RESEARCH CHAIR, CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA IN THE FACULTY OF EDUCATION AND THE SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY; ADJUNCT PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, NEUROSCIENCE & BEHAVIOR AT MCmASTER UNIVERSITY; cORE MEMBER OF THE oFFORD cENTRE FOR CHILD STUDIES 

Dr. Vaillancourt’s research examines the links between aggression and bio-psychosocial functioning and mental health, with particular focus on bully-victim relations. Dr. Vaillancourt is currently leading a Community-University Research Alliance on the prevention and intervention of bullying which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.


Dr john Cairney
associate research director, department of family medicine; associate professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry and behavioural  

Dr. Cairney is the inaugural holder of the McMaster Family Medicine Professorship in Child Health Research, and an Associate Member of the CanChild Centre for Studies in Disability. He also carries the titles of: adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, adjunct Scientist in the Health Systems Research and Consulting Unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, as well as Associate Member in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster. Dr. Cairney has two main areas of interest: the epidemiology of mental health problems across the life span, and the impact of childhood physical disability on psychosocial and physical development in children.