Education

Update: The Brain Bag Roadshow

Proofing for the Brain Bag baby book. Credit: Shannon Nickinson.

This week was the “Brain Bag Roadshow.”

Baptist, Sacred Heart and West Florida hospitals are all onboard and eager to begin giving their moms these early literacy kits. We’re refining the “teaching points” connected with the bags now.

More good news is that we will work with the folks at ARC Gateway to assemble the bags once we have all the pieces in place.

After speaking with several civic groups, including the Kiwanis, about the work that Studer Community Institute is doing in the early learning space, we set about the detail-heavy task of finishing the “Baby Steps” baby book.

The baby book is a key piece of the Brain Bag package. Culling advice from our partners at the Thirty Million Words Initiative at the University of Chicago, local educators, healthcare professionals and more, the Baby Steps book is meant to help parents track some of the developmental markers in the first three years of a child’s life.

It’s something I wish that I had when my girls, now 10 and 6, were little. I got a lot of advice as a new mom about breastfeeding, diaper rash, safe sleep practices, baby food, home remedies to avoid and everything in between.

But I don’t remember anyone explaining how crucial the first 1,000 days of life were to a child’s brain growth — and how much that could mean for them later on.

That’s the gap we hope the Brain Bags are the first step in filling. The more parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and caregivers understand about the power of language in early brain development, I firmly believe the more progress our children will make.

Folks from other agencies in the community have been reaching out to see how they can become involved with our early education efforts. That kind of community response is what gives us hope at SCI that our dream of turning Pensacola in an “Early Learning City” could become reality.