Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally written on May 10, 2017.
I just left the quarterly meeting for the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s Mind in the Making Facilitators. What a remarkable group! Over 30 individuals came together to learn from and share with each other. The facilitators are a diverse group made up of people from various agencies, not-for-profits, library systems, school districts, early learning coalitions, and individuals with a desire to make a difference in our region. Judging from the level of conversation and laughter in the room, It’s hard to believe the first Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute was held only one year ago. Due to demand, a second Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute took place in February of 2017, raising the number of local facilitators to 50.
The Mind in the Making workshops are based on the ground-breaking book by Ellen Galinsky. Galinsky’s book discusses how it’s crucial to a child’s development that we work on seven essential life skills: focus and self-control; perspective-taking (understanding how others feel); communicating; making connections; critical thinking; taking on challenges; and self-directed engaged learning. The workshops focus on specific area of child development and learning using demonstrations and hands-on activities. Due to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, the fees for the workshops are waived.
Since May 2016, more than 525 people have registered for the series of eight workshops. The facilitators have held workshops at Early Learning Centers, Elementary Schools, High Schools, Churches, Libraries, local businesses, and agencies. Once a cohort reaches 15 registrants, The Patterson Foundation supports the group with funds for food and childcare as well as stipends for the Facilitators. Offering Mind in the Making workshops is a wonderful way for organizations to offer families a proven program designed to help parents, educators, grandparents, and children thrive without incurring the costs often associated with such a program.
The stories shared today by the facilitators were heartwarming and thrilling. Listening to the facilitators sharing their personal growth and the growth of their students was joyful. As we strive to have more and more families strengthened and enhanced by their participation in Mind in the Making workshops, it was wonderful to take the time to recognize how far we’ve come in just a year.