Parenting and the Brain

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COLUMBIA - A special ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday at Eugene Field Elementary School to declare February 6-10 the "Week of Parenting with the Brain in Mind."  Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid described the week as a unique opportunity to learn how to raise brighter, healthier, and happier kids.

Columbia Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher said, "We know in today's society kids come to us with many needs and many social issues that crop up and there's not one model that prepares all kids." The Central Missouri Community Action Agency invited parenting expert David Walsh to conduct workshops to teach members of the community techniques of brain-healthy learning.  Walsh is an expert psychologist and author who has studied translating brain science into everyday activities.

Walsh said he has never been welcomed like this before.  "There is something very special going on in your community," he said.  Walsh believes kids have brain cells that are both hard-wired and soft-wired.  He explained, "Babies arrive in the world with the ability to vocalize. That's hard-wired.  However, which of the 6,500 spoken languages in the world that baby will end up speaking is not hard-wired.  That's the soft wiring shaped by the experiences that that child will have." 

Walsh said his main goal for these workshops is to inspire everyone who works with kids to take it as the most important thing they do.  An open workshop will be held on Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Smithton Middle School.  The first 200 participants to arrive will receive a free copy of Walsh's newest book. 

For more information on additional workshops, contact Bryon White with the Central Missouri Community Action Agency at 573-443-8706 or