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May 11, 2017

A ‘Gem’ of a Group — Team Ruby

Editor’s Note: Erica Brusoe is the Assistant Principal of Southside Elementary School. In May of 2016, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading held a Mind in the Making (MITM) Facilitator Institute for 27 individuals from 13 different agencies in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Since then, these facilitators have been presenting Mind in the Making’s Seven Essential Skills Training Modules to over 525 people throughout the Suncoast region. Due to demand, a second Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute was held in February of 2017, raising the number of local facilitators to 50.

Recently, the Mind in the Making cohort of Team Ruby met at Phillippi Shores Elementary School. At first, the group was quiet and reserved but, as we moved through the modules together, the participants shared information and personal stories that helped us all gain a deeper understanding of how to help the children in our lives develop the 7 Essential Life Skills. All participants were Sarasota County Schools teachers, so this provided a common language that also led to stronger connections and ideas that could be applied in classrooms the next day. How powerful!

This dedicated group of learners met for a total of four sessions in the evening. During each workshop, this group of educators reflected on their experiences and practices as they reviewed each module, then shared ways in which their learnings could inform future practices.

Mind in the Making has been brought to our region by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Team Ruby was eligible for financial support through the generosity of The Patterson Foundation because our group had 15 or more registrants. We used part of our funds to provide meals for our participants during each workshop and the rest for a special treat for our Mind in the Making cohort. Following our workshops, each participant received a goodie bag in the mail with read-aloud materials to support the information discussed in our sessions. Team Ruby was a ‘gem’ of a group, and it was a joy to learn with them!

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