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Living in Poverty Affects Our Children; GrapeSEED Can Help - Part 3

Published: June 29, 2015

In Part 1 of Living in poverty affects our children; GrapeSEED can help, we discovered what poverty is and the five different types of poverty that might be affecting students and their families.

In Part 2 , we heard all of the facts and negative effects that poverty has on children. We learned Eric Jensen’s explanation of brain reducers/enhancers and that there is still hope that students can change for the better.

Now let’s see how GrapeSEED can help children make that positive change by promoting growth in oral language, literacy, and self-confidence, leading them to a bright future full of possibilities.

First, GrapeSEED Lessons Provide a Stress Free Environment!

How?

  • Children are immediately met at their own academic level.
  • Children immediately gain a sense of psychic safety thanks to many repetitions in the program and the Gradual Release of Responsibility model used throughout.
  • The use of song and music immediately creates a very pleasant, joyful atmosphere.
  • GrapeSEED’s Pete, Arty, Tonya, Dee-Dee, Marvin Monkey, Johnny Bear and Cookie the Sheepdog are attractive and child-friendly characters that boys and girls quickly connect with.

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Second, GrapeSEED Lessons Are Interactive and Include Physical Movement!

How?

  • Each GrapeSEED lesson incorporates fun-filled action activities.
  • Children hop, skip, jump, crawl, climb, swim, fly, march and more! 
  • Children actively transition from one meaningful activity to another throughout each lesson.
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Third, GrapeSEED Lessons Provide Pro-Social Contact!

How?

  • Themes for learning build confidence in the following areas: Introducing yourself to a new friend, sharing, taking turns, interacting with others, using manners, being kind, friendly and more.
  • Call and Response style Chants, which teach children how to appropriately ask and answer practical questions, are in each unit beginning with Unit 3.

Fourth, GrapeSEED Lessons Provide New Learning!

How?

  • Children HEAR, SAY and USE new sounds.
  • Children HEAR, SAY and USE new phrases, expressions and language patterns.
  • Children HEAR, SAY and USE new vocabulary words that are meaningful in their everyday lives.
  • Children learn and memorize joyful, upbeat tunes.
  • New learning in GrapeSEED is safe, non-threatening, realistic, cyclical in nature and differentiated.

Next, GrapeSEED Lessons Create Complex Environments!

How?

  • Stories, poems and songs introduce a wide variety of settings, creating new background knowledge and schema that children living in poverty may not otherwise have. Examples: Zoo, Farm, Garden, Fishing/Swimming Hole, Aquarium, Neighborhood Pool, The Market, etc.
  • Action activities allow for practice and mastery of key spatial-relationships, conceptualizing and physically following a series of directions.
  • A signature trait of our GrapeSEED materials is that many of them are set to a wonderfully catchy tune. This was very intentional! Tunes play a critical role in this  “Complex Environment” piece. Geoffery Miller from the University College of London states, “Our brains are CONSTANTLY trying to make order out of disorder and music is an amazing pattern game for our higher cognitive centers. From our culture, we learn---even if unconsciously---about musical structures and tones. Ways of understanding music unfold over time; and our brains are exercised by extracting different patterns and groupings. It is this very kind of pattern recognition that is extremely important for us to make sense of the world around us.

Last, GrapeSEED Helps Build and Foster Relationships!

How?

  • If teachers are truly implementing with fidelity (which our on-going support will successfully assist each teacher with), then they are in what we call “Memory Mode”.
  • When teachers are in “Memory Mode”, eye contact and face-to-face interaction with children is happening. This builds and fosters relationships!
  • Children learn to connect and converse with each other through chants, songs, big books and action activities. Examples: “Hello my friend, what is YOUR name?”, “Do you like red?”, and “What can YOU do?” The examples are endless!

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So, How Does all of this Add up to for our GrapeSEED Students?

Here’s the equation:

Families & Communities in Need + GrapeSEED & GrapeSEED Teachers (That’s YOU!) = A Brain-Enhancing Classroom Environment = A Sense of Hope amongst Children for Future Social and Academic Endeavors = Self Confidence & Cognitive Growth = Student Achievement = Healthy, Productive, Joyful Communities!

With GrapeSEED, you are empowering your little learners as you open up new doors that lead from a world of poverty (and all that goes along with it!), to a world of self-confidence, a love of literacy and language, and a desire to learn. With GrapeSEED, you’re opening a window of opportunity and delight in learning. With GrapeSEED, you’re equipping your students and making the world a better place, one hopeful, joyful, confident little child at a time!

Jodie Shell

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