Executive Function Think Tank

image of think tank imageCoordinated by Leah Lauver, the Executive Function Think Tank continued to share ideas, develop resources and conduct research.  This group was formed by a common interest in the importance in Executive Function as a critical set of skills needed for school success.  The group is comprised of faculty and staff from Miami University, Sinclair Community College, Wright State University and several departments in the University of Dayton in addition to practitioners from Miami Valley Child Development Centers, Head Start, East End Community Services, Family Works, the Urban Child Development Resource Center and other interested parties including graduate students.  One important effort to share information and resources is the Executive Function Think Tank web site which includes current research and other resources that can be used to advance understanding of these important skills in our community.  Members of the group curate new information on executive function so that the web site is an up-to-date resource.  The Think Tank members conduct research on executive function.  For example, Dr. Mary Fuhs, Assistant Professor of Psychology, has written extensively on the topic and shares her ongoing research regularly. Members from 2 universities joined together to evaluate effective practices in teaching college students about executive function.  This research was presented at the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators in New Orleans, LA and the Society for Research in Child Development. 

Additions to the Family Engagement Toolkit Collection

In an effort to support those who support families, a team of social media interns under the direction of Bombeck Infant and Toddler teacher Becky Anderson created a series of web-based toolkits. Toolkits are a one-stop collection of print, video and audio resources designed to provide information about families for those who work with families.  Toolkits are developed in a blog format using Tumblr.  The following toolkits were developed in 2014-2015 and can be found on the Family Collaborative Toolkit website:

  • Supporting Culturally Diverse Families
  • Supporting Families after a Natural Disaster
  • Supporting Military Families
  • Supporting Families Impacted by Violence 

From a Student’s Perspective: Notes from A Family Collaborative Intern

image of think tank"When I signed up to take the EDT 344 Working with Families, Professionals and Agencies class in the spring of 2015, I had no idea the impact it would have on me. When we walked into class, Dr. Adams told us that we were now part of something bigger; we were part of the Family Engagement Collaborative. At the time, I didn’t really know what that meant. I knew we had a project where we made a Tumblr page, a 'toolkit' to share with the community about ways schools can engage with families who are facing challenges. Dr. Shauna Adams told us that we would also become interns for a school, organization or agency in the area. We received many proposals and were allowed to choose the one that interested us the most. It was working in the schools where I learned what it meant to be a part of the Family Engagement Collaborative. My partner and I would go to Cleveland PreK-6 Neighborhood School Center once a week. We met with a mentor teacher and planned two events as part of the schools Fatherhood Initiative. Our programs where designed to engage fathers in their children’s school.  We were told that parent participation had been a challenge, so I personally wasn’t expecting a very good turnout. However, after using tips and techniques we learned in class and learning about the culture of the school, we had a bigger turn out than anyone had expected! We then shared our success with the Family Engagement Collaborative Council. I am now the social media intern for the Family Engagement Collaborative and sit on the Council. These experiences helped me to understand important family engagement is and how a community can come together to support families." 

-Abby Miller