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July 13, 2021

Mind in the Making with CreArte Latino Cultural Center

Carolina Franco, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The first session of Mind in the Making in collaboration with CreArte Latino Cultural Center occurred between March and April 2021. The workshop was a successful enterprise conducted in Spanish by Carolina Franco and Elvira Sanchez-Blake for seven participants in Sarasota’s Hispanic community.

Most of the participants are hardworking families in Sarasota County who parent small children and arrived to the area in recent years. The collaborative alliance will disseminate MITM’s learning techniques available to participants’ families and other community members.

In the first session, participants learned about executive functions, WOOP, and the seven essential life skills. They connected with fellow participants and worked on group assignments. Some of them considered this experience a pivotal exercise for their careers and a catalyst to further develop work-related strategies. 

In the second session, participants worked on focus and self-control activities. Carolina and Elvira provided resources, talked about them with the group, and encouraged them to practice at home. As guests reflected on this session, they described the learning experience as vital, innovative, dynamic, and practical.

In the third session, learning about taking the other’s perspective into account instead of focusing on their own was eye-opening for many people. The exercise on changing their point of view generated an enthusiastic conversation. 

The fourth meeting was devoted to communication skills, which resulted in more engagement among attendants. This activity generated such a positive response that the group reported feeling like family by the end of the session.

Theater instructor and artist María Schaedler-Luera conducted the fifth meeting. Some participants already knew her from CreArte Latino. Her activities were oriented toward applying the essential life skills to body coordination and memory functions. Participants felt very comfortable with one another. 

Feedback at the end focused on the learning experiences of the workshop as a whole. Participants remarked about the effective communication strategies, cognitive skills, and activities that apply to their life goals and families. 

“The first Mind in the Making in Spanish with our organization turned out to be a successful creative outcome for the Spanish-speaking community in Sarasota. In conjunction with CreArte Latino, this initiative promises to have a beneficial impact on the community’s well-being.” — Carolina Franco

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