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September 10, 2019

Collaborating with Curiosity



Mind in the Making (MITM) is a series of workshops that promote executive function life skills. The Patterson Foundation provides funding for these workshops throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, Sarasota counties as a part of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative.

There are approximately 60 certified MITM facilitators in the four-county region. We meet quarterly to communicate updates, receive feedback, brainstorm, and connect. These facilitators are passionate and committed to sharing the science behind MITM with parents, grandparents, educators, and anyone else who has children in their lives.

The recent quarterly meeting included two powerful awareness exercises:

Making Choices requires strategy in how to invest your resources for your family of four. This activity provided three cost options to invest in each of the following categories: housing, healthcare, food, transportation, technology, childcare, and shopping. It proved to be challenging for our facilitators when resources were limited and expectations were high — yet families in our community face this daily.

The life skills required for this activity included

  • Critical Thinking to determine if the information they had was valid and reliable.
  • Communication was key in understanding what you were getting in return for your resources.
  • Taking on Challenges if a participant decided to do without health insurance and had an accident, or were trying to find alternative ways of doing things if there was no technology.
  • Perspective Taking played an influential role in decision making when considering how other members of the family might feel or when feeling the pressure of societal norms.

In our second activity, we shared aspirations through thought-provoking questions. This exercise provided a rich dialogue and great perspective without feeling the need to ‘fix’ anything.

When posed with the question, “What is your ideal community?” Answers from the group included safety with a central area, an inclusive community, and accessibility for all!

What will it take to create this community?” Facilitators thought we needed to touch on emotions, fulfill a need, create community awareness, participation, and commitment.

As the questions progressed, so did the excitement and passion. “Who else cares about the efforts to help children read on grade level?” Answers included teachers, parents, grandparents, retirees, faith-based organizations, chamber of commerce, community leaders, realtors, libraries, bookstores, community centers, local businesses, higher education institutions, prisons, employers…. the list goes on.

Wow! Imagine if we all worked together, “What could we accomplish?” A changed mindset, increased confidence, enthusiasm, a road map for parenting, and increased graduation rates that would all create a stronger, brighter future for our children!’

The quarterly meeting was a great use of our time and was the start of a community conversation. Won’t you join us in this conversation? What excites you about connecting on this journey with Mind in the Making?

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