Meet our Nordic Fellow Kjartan Eide
Kjartan is building a powerful network of schools across Scandinavia. Kjartan has grown Trivselsprogrammet (TL) into an activity program that uses young leadership and active play as the primary strategies to reduce bullying and to promote the value of physical activity among young people.
His Changemaker journey
Kjartan attributes his curiosity and interest in human relationships with his parents. As a child, he was bullied in school, an experience that stuck with him throughout later years. As a young adult, Kjartan worked as an athletic instructor at Friskis & Svettis, a Swedish non-profit organization that focuses on spreading exercise and low-cost gym memberships to as many new members as possible.
With a background in physical activity promotion as well as human interaction, Kjartan started to realize he could take action to prevent bullying. Thus, Kjartan created a lecture series for parents and DVDs for students, teachers, and schools about anti-bullying and bullying prevention. This program scaled rapidly across the country.
Combining his prior experiences with physical activity and human relationships, Kjartan puts students in charge and provides them with the tools to create collaborative sport activities that involve teamwork and empathy. Kjartan has infused the organization with his own experience and passion for physical activity, recognizing that it is an effective tool to bring about a profound change in people.
In schools across Scandinavia, young children experience boredom and inactivity during recess, inviting conflict, bullying and poor health outcomes. Kjartan is redesigning recess in schools by adding an incentive system that urges young people to engage in physical activity and serve as role models for their classmates.
Trivselsprogrammet (TL), which means Wellbeing Program in Norwegian, creates a system for active play in elementary and junior high schools that puts young people in charge. On a regular basis, students choose classmates who exemplify positive values to serve as Activity Leaders for recess games and activities.
The student leaders are trained and supported in how to lead in an inclusive manner and receive tangible rewards in their communities for doing well.
The incentive system not only reinforces students’ desire to serve as Activity Leaders, but shifts classroom behavior towards collaboration and inclusion.
As a result of the repeated practice of personal leadership, active play, and teamwork, Kjartan enables children to create a school environment that is free from verbal and physical bullying, gossip, and ostracism. Consequently, students enjoy increased activity and inclusiveness by their peers, schools mediate fewer conflicts among students and focus on promoting activity at recess. Teachers have more time to teach and parents observe their children feeling increasingly secure at school.
Trivselsprogrammet is run through a school network model to connect schools in the same geographic area and to ensure the systematic and cost-effective scaling of the model. To increase the number of participating schools, Kjartan and TL staff give lectures at principals’ meetings in each municipality about the program. Through this method, they have experienced a domino effect in schools eager to participate.