Literacy

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Parents and educators “need to teach information literacy as soon as children can push a button.”
Carla Hayden, PhD, 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, PhD, 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, PhD, 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, PhD, former president of the American Library Association and the 14th librarian of the US Congress, says that information literacy is key to addressing fake news. “Librarians have been pounding on this issue in a different way for a while—just having computer literacy is great, but as information professionals, we’re always looking at what’s the most authoritative source for the information and teaching information literacy. It’s great to have all this stuff, but you need to teach how to use the library.”
Dr. Hayden promotes the valuable service libraries offer and understands the important role libraries play in communities. From school and local libraries to the Library of Congress, she sees professional library staff as resources who give unbiased, nonpartisan information and will provide answers to questions about fake versus factual news. Because of their long-standing reputation as stewards of information, libraries and librarians should be “double lines” in everyone’s Constellation of Support. They are the “go to” fact checkers for accurate information on any subject matter, including government. This link shows the wide range of online resources libraries offer for government information:
For some people, libraries are their sole resource to electronically access information they may need for their health, job, and families. As many businesses, health providers, and government agencies now use electronic formats as their only means of contact, libraries provide everyone with online computer services, free of charge. They thus enable all members of the community, regardless of income bracket, to find needed information. Additionally, in times of disaster, the library may be the only functioning source for contacting critical government services for people from all walks of life.
And while the services of skilled librarians and the resources of libraries are invaluable, individuals also need critical-thinking skills to navigate the information-gathering process and to evaluate multiple sources of information. This is where BrainWise CPR tools are needed, including knowing how to use Wizard Brain thinking, build a Constellation of Support, recognize red flag warnings, manage emotions, separate fact from opinion, ask the right questions, identify choices, consider consequences, set goals, and communicate effectively. BrainWise graduates recognize that solving problems requires them to wisely assess a situation, and using credible resources is part of this process. BrainWise provides the foundation for information literacy by teaching skills that prevent and solve problems associated with the assimilation and dissemination of information.

BrainWise Booth

The BrainWise Booth at the Rotary International Convention in Montreal.

When more than 18,000 Rotarians from 154 countries and geographic areas descended on the House of Friendship at the Convention Center in Montreal, Canada June 20-23 for the 101st Rotary International Convention, the BrainWise Program booth was a popular stopping place. Rotarians from around the world were inspired by the number and variety of successful BrainWise/Rotary partnerships, including the Be BrainWise with Money Program at Villa Park Elementary and Colorado High School Charter, the BrainWise Rotaract and Rotarian Mentoring program with at-risk teens, and the incorporation of the 10 Wise Ways at the Young RYLA leadership camp.

Visitors to the BrainWise Program booth also were captivated by the new concept of teaching BrainWise using an online tool called Confidence Based Learning, which debuted at Colorado High School Charter in January, 2010, and the use of BrainWise concepts by Jefferson County visiting nurses to help vulnerable families make better decisions and become self-sufficient.

Rotarians Patricia Fiske and Susan Kelly Henderson joined BrainWise founder Dr. Patricia Gorman Barry and board member Donald Eberle in demonstrating BrainWise principles and discussing opportunities for Rotarians to start BrainWise programs through their clubs.

Dr. Barry praised the Rotary International convention as “a perfect opportunity to showcase Rotary projects that use BrainWise, and to broaden our network of BrainWise partners.”

Dr. Barry was invited to present at the 15th Annual Conference of Colorado Charter Schools.  Dr. Barry conducted the presentation on BrainWise, outlining the concepts of the the 10 Wise Ways and reviewing the research supporting the program.  She was paired with Steve Ingersoll, founder of Smart Schools.

After the presentation, Dr. Barry received an invitation from Steve Ingersoll to fly to Michigan and visit the school.  Other invitees include Amy Slothower from Denver Ventures, the new charter school sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnership and modeled after Denver School of Science and Technology and two representatives of the Colorado Charter Schools.

Dr. Barry returned from the Rotary International Convention in Los Angeles, where she spent three days introducing and training individual Rotarians in the concepts of BrainWise. The Rotary International coordinator for Literacy, Dr. Richard Hattwick thought that the BrainWise presentation was a powerful tool in presenting the ideas encompassed by the program. Individuals from numerous countries attended the training sessions and BrainWise materials have been shipped to Nigeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Bahamas, and India as a result of the conference.

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.

People were turned away from last week’s standing-room-only BrainWise workshop in Salt Lake City!  Dr. Richard Hattwick, who will head the Rotary International Literacy Task Force for 2008-2009, is a BrainWise supporter and issued an invitation to present at the RI Conference next year in LA.

Here is what he had to say: “BrainWise addresses the psychological problems that lead to children at risk and adults in prison. Whether we’re talking about learning to think through the consequences of an  action or managing dangerous emotions. BrainWise is a tool that works.”

The highlight of the convention was the keynote speech by Bill Gates, Sr. 20,000 people filled the auditorium to listen to him.  He talked about his early married life and his concern as a first-time father about the possibility that his newborn daughter could get polio.  He tied this in with his involvement as a Rotary member and his pride that Rotary was responsible for being close to eradicating polio worldwide.  He said that the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation had a goal to eradicate other diseases, and Rotary provided them with a model.  His parting words were for all to “think big.”