Brain Bags: New partners on board

  • June 30, 2017
  • /   Shannon Nickinson
  • /   early-learning

When we first had the idea for the Brain Bag project, we didn't know where it would go.

What came from an idea I learned about that another Florida community used to reinforce a message of early learning with their new parents, now is becoming something that my community — Pensacola — is truly embracing.

Of course, the first people outside of our Studer Community Institute family, to embrace the idea were the women of IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, who awarded us the grant that allowed the project to launch.

And while the IMPACT grant has helped to launch the Brain Bags, we've been focused on finding ways to sustain it beyond the lifespan of that grant. We have some great new partners in that effort.

— Bobby Switzer, One Palafox Place: $25,000.

— Cindy and Marcus Michles, Michles and Booth: $25,000.

— Fredric G. Levin, Levin Papantoni Law: $25,000.

— Julian MacQueen, Innisfree Hotels: $50,000 over five years.

Thank you all for not only seeing the worth in the project and the work SCI is doing, but also for becoming partners with us on this journey.

So too, are we pleased to say that the Rotary Club of Pensacola's Foundation awarded a grant toward the Brain Bag project.

And with more good news, the folks at WSRE, the PBS station for this community, were able to contribute to the Brain Bags.

Along with a bib, WSRE is sharing with our Brain Bag parents guidance from their PBS Kids curriculum about how to build a love of learning from the first days of a child's life.

"WSRE is proud to partner with SCI and excited to contribute these items to the IMPACT Brain Bags," said Mary Riker, marketing and station promotion manager for WSRE. "Thank you for including WSRE's Educational Services in this truly impactful project to promote early learning."

As you may know, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time — TV, tablet, smartphone, computer — for children under 2. The doctors' group does recommend that when you begin to incorporate media, PBS programming is among the two specific content providers they recommend by name.

The other is the Sesame Workshop, the company behind "Sesame Street," both mainstays of this Gen-Xer's TV childhood.