In the Villa Park neighborhood of Denver, BrainWise has partnered with the Denver Metro Rotary Literacy Task Force and the Denver Mile High Rotary Club to pilot an innovative school and family program. Through this partnership, second and third grade students are learning BrainWise skills as part of their school curriculum, and Rotarians are helping teach BrainWise to families after school. It is anticipated that this “double dose” of thinking skills, reinforced by Rotary’s long-term commitment to teaching BrainWise in the community, will improve school performance and increase graduation rates.
Patricia Fiske, chair of Rotary’s Literacy Task Force and Susan Kelly Henderson, a member of the Denver Mile High Rotary Club, are leaders of this project. Their goal is to create a BrainWise school and family model that can be replicated by Rotary and other service clubs in Colorado and throughout the nation. Dr. Marilyn Welsh, a professor at the University of Northern Colorado, is evaluating the program’s results.
At a May 2007 meeting of the Denver Mile High Rotary Club, Dr. Barry received a special recognition from the Rotary International Literacy Resource Group for her “pioneering work” with the BrainWise Program and its impact on Rotary International’s view “of school partnership projects and the standards to be used” to measure their success.