In 2012, we launched an after school literacy program called Brain Lab. This program is designed for students in second grade through high school and is offered at no cost to participants.
Brain Lab targets skills such as memory, attention, processing rate and cognitive skills that are essential for reading. We utilize the software program Fast ForWord, data driven computer exercises created by Scientific Learning.
This program addresses the reading and language skills while concurrently developing foundational cognitive skills like memory, attention, processing, and sequencing. These cognitive skills are central to all learning, resulting in improved outcomes for reading and other subject areas, too.
This is an intensive program and requires commitment to completing a 30-40 minute session, 5 days per week. One of the 5 days will be completed at the Language Center, where the child will also participate in direct instruction with a Speech-Language Pathologist or trained volunteer to target specific areas he or she may be struggling with in Fast ForWord, or work on a goal he or she has from school.
We are constantly working to improve Brain Lab and provide a comprehensive learning experience for our students. One improvement we have made in recent years is to incorporate another training program called Interactive Metronome (IM). Research has proven this program to help children and adults overcome attention, memory, and coordination limitations. Timing in the brain (temporal processing) is critical to speech, language, and cognitive functioning. It is the basis for attention, working memory, and processing speed -- all of which are critical for auditory processing, linguistic development, and reading achievement in children.
We use Interactive Metronome with our students enrolled in Brain Lab and also with our students enrolled in individual speech and language therapy sessions.