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August 5, 2016

Mind in the Making Workshops Focus on Essential Skills for Children

Thank goodness it’s Friday — that was all I could think of after visiting 30 home-visitation educators who are participating in the fantastic Mind in the Making workshops on Friday mornings in Manatee County. 

The Mind in the Making Community Facilitator Institute, which was funded by The Patterson Foundation on behalf of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, shared the seven essential life skills presented in Mind in the Making, a book by Ellen Galinsky. 

Community members who attended the Institute in May are now taking these seven essential skills and sharing them in workshop form throughout the Suncoast region for the benefit of parents, educators, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. 

Two workshops are happening simultaneously — one group in English facilitated by the dynamic duo of Barbara Brownell and Joan Tomeo, who bring their years of experience, friendship, and love of the community to the workshops and another group in Spanish facilitated by Elizabeth Sierra and Liliana Wright who bring high-octane energy, humor and passion to their work. 

This particular Friday, “focus and self control” were the topics covered. I think most people can agree that developing these skills in both adults and children will result in greater academic and life success. The Mind in the Making workshops are interactive, so it was great fun to watch the participants doing activities, sharing with their partners, watching videos, and doing A LOT of thinking and reflection with the help of flip boards and markers.

Through this facilitated learning approach, each workshop gives participants the opportunity to reflect on their own adult experiences, learn what researchers have discovered about how children learn best, and discuss how to apply this research in their roles as a parent or educator. It truly is one of the rare trainings that is focused on the adult as a person before focusing on children.

These sessions in both languages are filled with many affirmations and laughs while trying to grasp the unique purpose of this important training. It is unique because participants read, explore, reflect and set goals for the seven essential skills and reflect on their own experiences as a child and adult and how those experiences have impacted their relationship-building skills with teachers, children and families. They set personal goals to intentionally implement and then reflect upon the outcomes of these goals.

Created by the Families and Work Institute, the Mind in the Making Seven Essential Skills workshops focus on one of the seven essential skills:

 1.    Focus and Self Control

2.    Perspective Taking

3.    Communicating

4.    Making Connections

5.    Critical Thinking

6.    Taking on Challenges

7.    Self-Directed Engaged Learning

 Mind in the Making workshops will be offered throughout the Suncoast region. If you would like more information on how you can register or arrange for a training session for your group, please contact:

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