"Calisthenics for the Brain"

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BrainPower TM - School Outreach

MFLC’s BrainPower Program™ (BPP) is a two-tiered cutting edge learning program. Reading is the foundation skill, without which a student will increasingly fall behind. The Sound Analysis I & II Skill Set portion of BPP enables Pre-K - 2nd grade students to develop foundational skills which are critical to reading.  The second tier, for all other students, incorporates the elements of Sound Analysis along with BrainSkills™ and is designed to help struggling readers catch up.  The BPP utilizes the web-based BrainSkills™ program plus one-on-one Personal Brain Training.  Unlike tutoring which is simply re-teaching material that a student missed the first time, BPP addresses the learner’s underlying cognitive abilities through an intensive individualized program with a goal of increasing learner capacity.  These skills last a lifetime.

Research has shown that 80% of learning problems are due to cognitive weaknesses. Many compensate for these difficulties by developing coping skills.  However, cognitive training addresses the root causes of these difficulties. The BrainPower™ Program strengthens the following key cognitive skills:
  • Attention Skills: The ability to attend to incoming information.
  • Memory: The ability to store and recall information. Includes long-term and short-term/working memory.
  • Logic and Reasoning: The ability to reason, form concepts, and solve problems using unfamiliar information or novel procedures.
  • Auditory Processing: The ability to analyze, blend, and segment sounds.
  • Visual Processing: The ability to perceive, analyze, and think in visual images.
  • Processing Speed: The ability to perform simple or complex cognitive tasks quickly.

Parents are critical to the success of the BrainPower™ Program.  Parents of school age students agree to participate in periodic parent sessions to discuss the progress of their child.  

MFLC has implemented BPP in a few New Orleans schools.  During the 2013-2014 academic year 216 students are participating in the program, and in the 2011-2013 academic years over 273 students participated.  Achievements were noted by gains in testing outcomes and increased confidence as students advance through the program.  MFLC is looking to expand this School Outreach Program.

In the 2011-2012 school year, the Sisters of Notre Dame and MFLC implemented the BrainPower™ Program in a local school achieving remarkable results:  After three months of training, 8/9 students in the fourth grade and 12/12 students in the sixth grade passed the LEAP test.  

Recently, the BrainSkills™ program was administered in Caddo, Louisiana, to 60 Fourth graders who had not passed the LEAP, Louisiana’s state standardized test.  Astoundingly, after completing the BrainSkills™ program and retaking the LEAP exam 57 out of the 60 students passed. The National Science Foundation has recently made a grant to provide the majority of the funding for a study to examine how cognitive skills training can help high school students improve their learning ability and physically change the brain.

For each participant, BPP will develop a personal learning plan, which identifies and addresses learning deficiencies through the Gibson Test, which assesses cognitive skills, and guide them through their plan over the course of 6 to 12 months (assumes 3 to 5 hours/week).  Through the BrainSkills™ administrator’s portal, BrainSkills™ provides up to the minute data on participant progress.  Program administrators are able to monitor activity and progress, including length of time spent on exercises.  In the case of school-age participants, teachers and parents will also be engaged to assess BPP’s effect on school performance. All BPP participants will be assessed upon exiting the program using the Gibson Test or other measures to identify achievement.

In a school setting, the BrainPower™ Program (BPP) combines solid traditional classroom practices with one-on-one mentoring applied consistently and intensely.  The selection of the BrainSkills™ program is based on applied brain research, clinical practice in top-performing cognitive brain training programs such as LearningRx™, best practices of classroom teachers and incorporation of the tools of technology.  BPP training gives beginning and struggling readers a foundation for reading success. Once students have completed the training, no additional year-by-year costs are required.  Following the first year of the program in a school, only beginning readers (grade 1) and new students in grades 2-8 need to be evaluated for the program  The key to this model is collaboration with classroom teachers, school administrators, trained program staff, and parents, along with the use of a school’s technology resources.  Students can access the program 24 hours a day from any computer.



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