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March 6, 2017

Mind in the Making — A Ripple Effect

ripple effect is a situation in which, like ripples expand across the water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outward incrementally.

In May of 2016, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading held a Mind in the Making 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 375 people throughout the Suncoast region. These modules draw on brain development research to inform practices that lead to better outcomes for children through the promotion of essential skills that take place in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Each module provides participants the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and practices, learn what researchers have discovered about how children learn best, and discuss how to apply this research in their role as a parent, caregiver, or educator.

Twenty-two Mind in the Making facilitators from our region recently came together for a quarterly meeting. These meetings normally start with a “Question of the Day,” an ice-breaker which typically takes about 15 minutes of our meeting time. The “Question of the Day” at this recent meeting was, “How has Mind in the Making impacted you as an individual?” The question sparked a great deal of reflection, positive conversation, and sharing. It took over thirty-five minutes for the assembled group to experience everyone’s answers and left us all with a deeper understanding of the power behind the Mind in the Making modules.

Here are a few of the thoughts shared:

“I love watching parents and educators come together to learn more about Executive Function. You can see the light bulbs turning on as people are sharing real experiences from their own lives.”

“I am always struck by the ripple effect of these workshops. We facilitate discussions that cause us to learn new things and act in new ways. We pass this along to the workshop participants, and they pass it on through their new words and actions to the people they interact with and to their kids.  All of these incremental changes carry great power.”

“I find I reflect on Mind in the Making almost daily. The Perspective Taking module has really helped me navigate my relationships differently. In fact, I think I’ve personally had growth in all of the executive function skills. It’s so rewarding to hear the same thing from the people participating in the class … and it’s even better when they share that they see that same growth in their children.”

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is committed to bringing this important resource to parents, grandparents, child care professionals, early learning educators, and caregivers. If you are interested in individually participating in Mind in the Making workshops, or would like to have a series of workshops at your place of employment, church, or community organization, please contact

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