Connections with people
Build connections within
Thanks for your support
|SAVING BRAINS GRENADA||
Consistency is one of the major components of parenting. A parenting style used for one situation must be continued for children to effectively learn consequences. If I decide to use an empathy technique from Conscious Discipline then I must continue to use this technique each time the situation arises. This same approach is effective with illustrating new parenting skills. Parents must consistently receive reinforcement to continue a new type of parenting. As a volunteer on the Saving Brains Grenada resource bus I notice parents excited with new ideas for solving problems with their children. They want to continue reciting the safety rule (It is my job to keep you safe and your job to help me), using the breathing techniques (STAR, Balloon, Drain and Pretzel), and new ideas for the Conscious Discipline session. However when parents return to their home environment; there are no reminders. This is why Saving Brains Grenada incorporates the Roving Caregivers, our Resource bus, games and activities along with our upcoming lending library with stories from Conscious Discipline. These resources provide parents with support to continue Conscious Discipline in their home environments. Our major blockage is funding. We want to empower parents so they will have an impact on their children but we require ongoing funding to continue these services. Our immediate needs are sponsorship for the Roving Caregivers; funds for bus upkeep including a generator and battery; printing cost for parent pamphlets and information; along with funding for drinks and snacks. It is people like you that keep Savings Brains Grenada bus running. Donations can be made through www.gofundme.com/r4c4h8rs or you can contact us.
Connections with people
Build connections within
Thanks for your support
Working as a Research Assistant with Saving Brains Grenada project has been a wonderful experience thus far. I feel privileged that so many families have opened up their homes and hearts to us. It is a unique and rewarding experience to get to meet and interact with families from all over the island and Carriacou in an effort to bring about positive change in their children's lives. The curiosity towards the program from other families and children in the community has been especially inspiring, as it is so humbling to go into a home for an assessment and have 5 or 6 other children surround the area, eager to get a glimpse of the interaction and Grenada's bright future!
Research Assistant, Saving Brains Grenada
I feel so honored and privileged to work with such a vibrant team and group of Roving Caregivers for the Saving Brains Grenada project. I first came to Grenada in 2007 as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and have been engaged in community development work ever since. Saving Brains Grenada is a fabulous initiative that is truly grass-roots in nature and collaborates with trusted and respected stakeholders, Roving Caregivers, in the various villages across Grenada. Children are a blessing and need to be invested in for the betterment of this country. We know that the social determinants of health are what societies should be based upon and Saving Brains is integrating education, health and love to families all across Grenada. True community development starts in the field and we are blessed to be welcomed into these family's homes.
Lauren Orlando, MS
Saving Brains Grenada Team Member
The end of July marked our ‘3 month anniversary’ of being on the road. That is a cause for celebration in itself! We’ve had 238 parents visit the bus who have collectively brought along their 264 children and covered 3,672 Km. We’ve visited over 50 villages from Grand Anse all the way to Sauteurs.
So what is our typical bus class?
As we reach each village we turn on the music, rollout the awning and spread the tarpaulin. As each family arrives they have a choice of greeting and of where to sit, then they have some time to play or read with their child. When we’re all assembled one of the children announces that it’s clean up time (all the children who come to class have a job, it empowers and gives them responsibility), we then sing as they put their toys away.
Getting to class can be quite hectic for some parents. They have to prepare their older children and get them off to school, complete their usual morning chores and walk some distance, with one or two babies/toddlers to get to the bus. Our “Brain Smart Start’ usually in the form of a group song with movement helps us to unite the group, promote connection and commitment and helps parents leave their morning stresses behind and be fully engaged and present. After we’ve introduced ourselves with the ‘name song’ parents are reminded that we have a ‘Safe Place’ on the bus, which is an area that is equipped with tools for calming and self-regulation. This is an area that the child or parent willingly removes themselves to if they are feeling angry, upset frustrated etc. It gives the children some time and space away from the group in order to compose themselves.
At each class parents make their commitment for the day. The commitment this month is to be a STAR – Smile Take a deep breath And Relax. Our parents practice and learn this skill of composure themselves so that they can then teach this to their children.
After a short ‘Safekeeper Ritual’ (my job is to keep everyone safe) we move onto our “ I Love you Rituals” which are a wonderful way for parents to send messages of unconditional love and acceptance to their child through face-to-face interaction. These rituals may be standard nursery rhymes with the words changed to send a more positive message e.g. Twinkle, Twinkle little Star
What a wonderful child you are”, a simple game, a silly interaction etc. In all cases our goal is to have fun, to be fully present and in the moment, giving our child our full attention. Each class will also include a Stop and Go activity, which allows the child many opportunities to practice self- regulation and impulse control and a group game, which encourages cooperation and communication. Throughout the class parents are coached on self–regulation techniques, on how they react to their child and on fostering good observational skills rather than being critical and judgmental. The class concludes with practice or discussion on one element of Conscious Discipline related to the day’s commitment.
After a drink and snack we wish well any families that were not able to attend and say goodbye until next time.
How you can help?
We need: -
Donations of drinks, snacks and ice - $15 EC daily
A generator for printing photos and making books - $1000 EC
New Battery for the bus $560 EC
Volunteers to help on the bus or to do basic admin duties from home
Prizes that we can auction at our up and coming fundraiser – 6th September @ The Sand Bar
Cash donations towards our running costs, fuel, bus repairs, resources etc.
Please make a donation at www.gofundme.com/r4c4h8rs or contact us at www.facebook.com/savingbrainsgrenada.
Saving Brains Project Manger
As parents we acknowledge the developmental changes occurring in our child. We engage in activities that encourage our children to continue in their growth by singing songs, playing games, reading books together and taking walks in the field. What we may not realize is these activities are more than simple parent/child interaction; they are actually simulating internal and external connections. One of the themes of Conscious Discipline states external connections lead to internal connections. What we do with our children as parents has a major impact on our children’s mental state. A hide and seek game is more than looking for a person. It teaches people do not disappear; people generally will return and through searching children have the ability to find what they need. This simple children’s game encourages trust and security. At the Saving Brains bus, we teach parents hands-on skills and activities that help them engage with their child. Critically, we also teach parents why they are engaging in these activities - using the principles of neurodevelopment. Once parents understand the principles, they are empowered to continue the activities and effectively handle novel situations in the future. We know talking and singing to children stimulates language development; eye contact is an opportunity to develop trust; and touch is the strongest bond between parent and child. So at the bus we illustrate through games and songs and explain how these activities are beneficial. We also teach the parents how to manage themselves through breathing techniques which can change their state of mind. Our popular and easiest one is Stop, Take a deep breath, and Relax or STAR which is also from Conscious Discipline. The purpose of STAR is not to ignore a problem but to give your self time before reacting. We believe the more parents know; the more they will do and the more they do; the more children will have the opportunity to develop positively.
Volunteer Bus Assistant
As the Saving Brains Resource Bus travels from community to community I see the impact of parent interaction. My early childhood and child psychology background acknowledges the stages of development while my Conscious Discipline training notices children brain state. Conscious Discipline teaches three basic brains states as reptilian, mammalian, and human intelligence. Reptilian represents survival mode of fight, flight or freeze; mammalian is the emotional mode and intelligence is our human state of reasoning. Have you ever notice a child that is being yelled or reprimanded? What is their body language? They are frozen is a state of being and displaying their reptilian state. A child’s mammalian states are the temper tantrums or when the child is deep in some type of feeling that their reasoning skills are limited. I have noticed as some children come to the bus they are in their reptilian survival state. They are attached to their parents, not making eye contact, and prepared to flight at any perceive danger. However as we engage in song and play warmness and openness begins to emerge. They are responsive and willing to explore so much that by the end of our session they are willing to share drinks and biscuits. This becomes our goal as parents. We need to nurture children through their brains states into their highest level of reasoning. If we are engaging with children in any other state; we are not having a productive interaction which generally leads to frustration and stress. As our parents work with the Rover Caregivers and attend sessions at the Saving Brains Resource Bus; they will learn techniques from Conscious Discipline to help them with this task. Our mission is to teach parenting skills that will assist both parent and child. We want our parents to be empowered with skills that will encourage their children to reason. These reasoning skills will be a powerful tool for academics, social interactions as well as future endows. We also want to exam the intellectual differences between parents who enhance reasoning skills with other parents. This program is important in helping parents and children. Our future depends on how well are children can problem solve and make decisions.