Dunklin School District Introduces Innovative Cognitive Development Program

CHICAGO–Elementary and middle school students in Missouri’s Dunklin School District will be introduced to an innovative new program this year.  It’s not a new reading program or a math program or a health curriculum.  In fact, it’s not a replacement for anything that has traditionally been happening in their schools.  The new program is called BrainWare Safari and is designed to develop the cognitive skills that all students need in order to be able to learn effectively.  Dunklin is one of the first districts in Missouri to provide their students with an opportunity to comprehensively develop their cognitive skills.

"For years, we’ve tried everything we know of to help students when they start to fall behind.  We have a number of students who don’t qualify for special services, but who still don’t seem to be learning what they need," said Tom Okruch, principal of Senn Thomas Middle School in Herculaneum, Missouri.  "We keep looking for new ideas to help these students, and BrainWare Safari makes more sense than anything we’ve run into in a long time."

Sherri Lindquist, principal of Pevely Elementary School in Pevely, Missouri, echoes her colleague’s message.  "We’ve tried tutoring.  We’ve tried academic remediation programs, especially in reading.  But kids still fall through the cracks.  This year when we heard about BrainWare Safari, and developing kids’ cognitive skills, it was something we hadn’t thought about before.  We’re excited because it can help our students across the whole curriculum, not just one area."

Both Tom and Sherri were especially impressed when they started to learn about what brain researchers refer to as procedural memory.  Procedural memory is our ability to perform activities that we have done over and over, without really thinking about them.  The concept is called "automaticity."  When tasks become automatic, they no longer require conscious thought.  BrainWare Safari helps drive basic cognitive skills, such as attention and visual processing, to the level where they are automatic and integrated with all the other skills our brains must perform — in the same way the brain works.  With these basic skills at the automatic level, students’ minds are freed to work on comprehension and higher-level thinking.

The district expects to see students better able to perform academically, able to stay on task better, and less likely to end up in the principal’s office for discipline, following their use of BrainWare Safari.

And what will students think?  Odds are they’ll be excited about the new program too, since it’s presented in a video-game format, with characters and animation and sound.  "BrainWare Safari meets kids where they’re at, challenging them in a way that really engages them," said Betsy Hill, president and chief operating offer of Learning Enhancement Corporation, BrainWare Safari’s maker.  "But most importantly, it will help them succeed in school and whatever they choose to do."

In a peer-reviewed published study, students using BrainWare Safari have experienced over 4 years intellectual growth on average in 12 weeks vs. 4 months for a control group, and almost 2 years improvement in academic skills vs. 1 month for a control group. Cognitive growth of up to 6 years in 12 weeks has been shown in a school setting.

About BrainWare Safari
BrainWare Safari builds learning capacity by incorporating neuroscience with video-game technology to strengthen foundational cognitive skills, including attention, memory, visual and auditory processing, sensory integration, and reasoning and logic.  It comprehensively develops the underlying skills most critical for learning, benefitting users for a lifetime, not just for the next test, and giving them a stronger foundation for academic and workplace success.

BrainWare Safari is the only program endorsed by Dr. Patricia Wolfe, author of Brain Matters and international authority on neuroscience as it is applied to teaching and learning.

BrainWare Safari was named Best Education Game or Simulation in 2009 by the Software and Information Industry Association (CODiE Award), and has received both a Parents’ Choice Award and a Teachers’ Choice Award. Learning Enhancement Corporation received the 2006 EdNET Rookie of the Year Award as the company most likely to have a major impact on education in the coming years.

For further information, visit www.MyBrainWare.com or by call 877-BRAIN-10 (877-272-4610).

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