BrainWise and Police Mentors: PAL Chapters Teach the 10 Wise Ways

Posted On: December 1, 2021
The National Police Activities League (NPAL) has been serving children and teens for more than 75 years. Today’s chapters offer after-school programs for boys and girls ages eight to eighteen. Under the guidance of police officers, participants participate in a wide spectrum of educational and youth leadership activities. In late 2019, NPAL staff contacted BrainWise and added it to their list of vetted programs. Chapters apply to NPAL for grants and decide which program best fits their youth and set-up.     Shortly after BrainWise was added, COVID hit and the annual NPAL Conference was cancelled. BrainWise held virtual training for the chapters, but their contact with youth was limited. This year, COVID immunizations and health precautions allowed increased participation and the NPAL conference was able to convene in New Orleans; an estimated 80 officers and staff attended the BrainWise training held by Matt Sena.     
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NPAL Conference Attendees in New Orleans              
PAL chapters vary in size, design, and how they offer programs. To meet their needs, the chapters teaching BrainWise were assigned either Matt and Maile Monk for ongoing consultation and support. Matt and Maile are in contact with a number of participating chapters and impressed by their dedication to youth.

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Maile Monk, Ph.D.School Psychologist & BrainWise Trainer
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Matt Sena, BrainWise Trainer & Board Member
One of the fun activities we have planned will be virtual sessions: “Teens Reinforce BrainWise with Stories.” During the pandemic, Dr. Monk supervised teen mentors who reinforced BrainWise techniques by reading stories on Zoom (see issue #62) This year, we plan to do the same activity with children learning BrainWise in PAL chapters.“
Stacey Hervey, a teacher at Denver Career Education Center High School and a Young Rotary Club sponsor, (see Issue #67) recruited six outstanding students. The team happens to be all female, and the young women are starting by learning BrainWise themselves, then they will select age-appropriate stories that entail problems that can be resolved by applying BrainWise concepts. These teenagers will help the children practice by spotting problems in the story where the 10 Wise Ways are or might be implicated. The students, from left to right, are Rachael, Jacqueline, Jasmyn, Ashley, Amber, and Aa Janai. (They stooped to get out of the sun and their smiles are hidden behind their masks.)
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CEC High School Students who will be reading to PAL Participants
This news is an exciting and uplifting way to end 2021! We will have a template for the reading project’s successful replication. This model can be used both virtually and face-to-face. 
I would like to recognize NPAL staff members Angela Caffee and Avery Taylor. They work tirelessly to support the grantees and their programs for children and youth.  
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Angela Caffee, Director, NPAL Grant Operations
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Avery Taylor, Assistant Director,NPAL Grant Operations
The BrainWise Team – instructors, trainers, researchers, board members, and volunteers – know that the using 10 Wise Ways underlies preventing problems and making good choices. Dr. Monk summed it up with this statement: I think one of the most powerful things about the BrainWise program is that it can be led by teachers, parents, administrators, interventionists, community members, adolescents, or really anyone who learns the materials. I think BrainWise can be an impactful tool for bringing together family, school, and community partnering to support the growth of children and youth.
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