In May, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading hosted a Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute, which was funded by The Patterson Foundation. Thirty-one passionate, dedicated, and committed individuals completed the rigorous training and became Mind in the Making Facilitators, which means they are trained to share the science of children’s learning with our community.
Based on the work of Mind in the Making, a national initiative developed by the Families and Work Institute, the facilitators will provide module trainings for parents, early-childhood practitioners, child-care providers, and elementary school administrators/staff and interested community members throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties.
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading focuses on solution areas –school readiness, chronic absence and summer learning– to help all children, especially those from low-income families, succeed in school and in life by ensuring they read on grade level by the end of third grade. All of the solution areas are supported by parent engagement and healthy development.
School readiness, supported by parent engagement, is the solution area addressed by Mind in the Making, which shares strategies for promoting the seven essential life skills based on executive functions of the brain.
The Seven Essential Life Skills are:
· Focus and Self Control – Children need this skill to achieve their goals, especially in a world that is filled with distractions and information overload.
· Perspective Taking – Children who can figure out what others feel and think are less likely to get involved in conflicts.
· Communicating – Children need to be able to determine what they want to communicate and how. This is the skill teachers and employers feel is most lacking today.
· Making Connections – Children who can make unusual connections are more creative and can go beyond knowing information to using information well.
· Critical Thinking – Children need to be able to search for reliable knowledge to guide their beliefs, decisions and actions.
· Taking on Challenges – Children who can take on challenges instead of avoiding or simply coping with them will do better in school and in life.
· Self-Directed Engaged Learning – Lifelong learners can change as the world changes in order to reach their full potential.
The following are agencies and organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties engaged with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and that participated in the facilitator institute:
· The Association of Florida Teaching Artists
· Children First
· Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County
· Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County
· Exchange Club Family Partnership Center
· Manatee County Public Libraries
· Sarasota County Public Libraries
· The Salvation Army
· Sarasota County Schools
· Sarasota Memorial Childcare
· State College of Florida Libraries
· The Florida Center
· Woodland Early Childhood Center
· Independent Childcare advocates
The first Mind in the Making trainings began on Friday, June 24. Facilitators from Exchange Club Family Partnership Center and the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County will guide 30 childcare providers through the modules. More module trainings are being scheduled. If you are interested in participating in a Mind in the Making training, please email Beth Duda at firstname.lastname@example.org.