Community Schools and Mind in the Making

“Mind in the Making and Community Schools: Crossing Boundaries and Creating Strong Linkages for Children Birth through Eight and their Families,” is a collaborative project with The Children’s Aid Society’s National Center for Community Schools and the Institute for Educational Leadership. It has received four years of funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Our overall goal is to work in a total of six to seven communities over the course of four years, bringing Mind in the Making to an estimated 15,000 people.

Goal 1: Integrate MITM and the Seven Essential Life Skills into the Early Childhood and Community Schools (ECCS) Linkages Projects in Oklahoma and Oregon, and The Children’s Aid Society’s community schools in New York.

Goal 2: Expand the MITM and Seven Essential Life Skills work with community school initiatives into three additional communities: Providence, Rhode Island; Evansville, Indiana; and Hartford, Connecticut.

Goal 3: Use the MITM Learning Modules for Educators as a means of going deeper in approximately three sites.

Goal 4: Reinvent family engagement by using the Seven Essential Skills Modules with families and professionals together.

Goal 5: Widely share lessons learned from using MITM and the Seven Essential Life Skills as a focal point for educational innovation in community schools and for educators and families throughout the country.

Goal 6: Promote an evaluation of the community-based work with MITM.

Family, Community and Systems Engagement

In addition to our work with community schools, we are using the Seven Essential Skills Modules as a Family, Community and Systems Engagement Strategy.

First, we are working with three communities to have families and professionals experience the Modules together to determine if this approach not only provides an action approach that helps professionals and families promote Executive Function Life Skills in themselves and children but also strengthens the authentic partnerships among families and professionals. In doing so, we are redefining family engagement from a top-down, professionals as the imparters of knowledge to a mutual learning approach.

We are field-testing this approach in Baltimore, Maryland; Omaha, Nebraska; and State College, Arkansas beginning in 2013. This is funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

We are also working with the State of Arizona and the community of Fairfax Virginia. They are using the Seven Essential Skills Modules as a way of building better systems to support children’s effective learning.

Finally, we are working with the American Federation of Teachers to provide an Introduction to Mind in the Making. We have trained Facilitators and they will be training practitioners in their system all over the country.