December was Brain Building in Progress month at Registry of Motor Vehicle sites across the state.
While some people got driver’s licenses, young children were given an even more exciting “License to Learn.” These licenses never expire and they encourage children to be “learners for life.”
The project united the efforts of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with the two leaders of the state’s Brain Building in Progress communications initiative: the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.
Accompanying the licenses were tips about how to “spark back and forth conversations and interactions that promote safety,” according to the Brain Building in Progress website. These tips include:
“Buckle up! When you put your baby in a car seat, describe what you’re doing step by step. Make eye contact. Say what you are going to do next and that you’re doing it to keep your baby safe. Give a kiss or a tickle when they’re all buckled in!”
“Be street smart! Ask questions that start conversations and reinforce safety, such as ‘What color is the light when it’s safe to cross?’ or ‘How many steps does it take to get across the street?’”
“Always wear your helmet! Brain Building begins with keeping little brains protected – building connections and the foundation for future learning and school success.”
And while December is over, parents and caregivers can keep brain building at the RMV and in other locations using these tools:
• The License to Learn can be downloaded here.
• There’s more advice for grown ups here.
• And there are also activity sheets in different languages and other materials here.
As the project explains, “Everyone can be a Brain Builder! Tell us how you are brain building and get tips and ideas on Facebook and Twitter using #IAmABrainBuilder.”
Follow EEC and the United Way on Twitter @MassEarlyEdCare and @SpeakUnited, or like them on Facebook.
“Whether you’re a parent, business leader, educator, legislator, or simply a good citizen, you can help build a more prosperous tomorrow by building young minds today,” the Brain Building in Progress website says. “Learn how the early interactions and experiences that young children have with caring adults actually build the architecture of the developing brain. Then, discover the many ways that you can take action to create a brighter future for everyone in Massachusetts.”