BrainWise and Rotary Collaborate to Serve OthersPosted On: June 13, 2023
Seventeen years ago, Dr. Barry met with two members of the Denver Mile High Rotary (DMHR)Club. Patricia Fiske was starting a local school/community project and Susan Henderson was a nursing colleague of Dr. Barry who knew about BrainWise and wanted to introduce it to Patricia. The meeting was a success! Patricia agreed that BrainWise would benefit her Rotary project helping children and families. They were able to use a Rotary Foundation grant that was awarded to BrainWise to underwrite BrainWise training and educational materials. The result of the meeting was a “win-win” collaboration – Dr. Barry joined the DMHR club and Rotarians have been valued partners with BrainWise for almost two decades.
That initial project led to many other BrainWise/Rotary collaborations with agencies and individuals serving school children, mentoring programs, parents, homeless populations, and social organizations in the United States.
Internationally, Rotarians have taught BrainWise at a health fair they organized in China and have been instrumental in training teachers in schools in India and other countries.
Rotary Youth/Interact Club Members Teach BrainWise
An example of the sustainability and reach of BrainWise involves youth teaching BrainWise to school peers. In 2012, DMHR started an Interact/Young Rotary Club at the Career Education Center—Early College of Denver (CEC). CEC is a public high school, with a largely Hispanic population, that offers dual enrollment for college, with a variety of career paths. Stacey Hervey, Senior Team Teacher, and instructor of a criminal justice course is CEC’s Interact Sponsor with DMHR.
Stacey has been a long-time advocate for BrainWise and for 11 years has integrated the program into her two-semester curriculum. In addition to BrainWise projects, the Interactors have staffed community health fairs and holiday parties, recognized fallen police officers, created peace ornaments, held children’s book fairs, collected and distributed coats, food, and toiletries, beautified school grounds and classrooms, visited nursing homes, and other projects.
In the future, a range of hybrid models can be used to support BrainWise educators, Interactors, and other volunteers wherever the program is taught.
Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.”
This description fits all who teach BrainWise.