The ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ Campaign
“Laughter is the language of the soul.” — Pablo Neruda
Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA) strives for every child to grow up in a place where they feel safe and loved. This means that their basic needs are met and they feel free to learn and explore, to ask questions, to make messes and mistakes, and, of course, to laugh. It doesn’t take much. SFTA asks you to help us give more children the chance to chuckle, giggle, guffaw, shriek, snort, and cackle with our “Make ‘em Laugh’ Campaign.
The goal of the ‘Make ‘em Laugh’ Campaign is to highlight how important each moment of a child’s early stages are in developing the person they will become. Early childhood is a time of rapid brain development, where every experience, interaction, and relationship adds up to shape who you are. The simple act of making a child laugh fires off signals in their brain and body that over time, and even in that one moment, can make that child a happier, healthier, more emotionally centered person. And it’s great for adults too! How can you not laugh along? So, let’s ‘Make ‘em Laugh!’ Please share photos and videos of your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, the kid next door, your student—any child who is a part of your life—laughing. You can be in the video too, or just in the background making silly faces, sounds, or songs to make the magic happen. We welcome videos/photos from anyone—you don’t have to be a Wisconsin resident to share! Videos can be posted to the SFTA Facebook page, or shared by contacting us through GoFundMe. Once you post your video (or photo), make a donation of your choosing to our “Make ‘Em Laugh” Campaign so that SFTA can continue supplying supports that keep young children and their families learning and laughing. You don’t have to post a video or photo to donate!
Please visit our Campaign page for more information!
The Parenting Place bridges approaches to The Pyramid Model
When Barbara Hopkins, Lisa Metz and Patti Correll-Syring of The Parenting Place in La Crosse set out to become trainers for The Pyramid Model of Social Emotional Development, they weren’t sure exactly what they were diving into, but with their curiosity sparked and their excitement building, they knew it was going to be momentous.
And momentous, it has been. With a defined vision of how to bridge the approaches for parents and providers, the staff of The Parenting Place forged ahead. They skillfully blended The Pyramid Model of Social Emotional Development into services for both families and early care and education professionals, knocking down programmatic silos as they went.
Their approach was always two-fold from day one. They would not only be providing professional development to child care providers, but also integrating the principles and concepts of The Pyramid Model into parent education, play groups and home-visits.
In doing this, they met great success. As Lisa described, the Pyramid Model provides a cohesive approach to and explanation of child behavior and development and is paired with good, doable strategies for both parents and providers.
It is this connection between reaching parents and providers that have invoked such enthusiasm among both groups. Provider portfolios demonstrate meaningful reflections. Providers disclose that they have experienced changes in how they view what a child with strong behavioral issues is really like after viewing the Pyramid Model videos. They now have a renewed sense of how to work effectively with parents because they have expelled negative notions regarding parenting. Providers have started to understand what it is like for parents to live with a strong-willed child, and a new mutual respect has emerged.
Equally, parents have explored responses to child behavior and have had giant “ah-ha” moments with the support and bonding of a small group. Parents have also picked up tools to work more effectively with their children, as well as their family’s child care provider. Tools like Patti’s Oreo sandwich of communication which suggests layering empathy, limits and acceptable choices to result in a pattern of positive communication.
From this enhanced communication and partnership between parents and providers, they have been able to offer children continuity in early experiences. The evidence is clear as technical consultants and home visitors alike have recognized tools like Buddy the Dog, Tucker the Turtle, scripted stories and visual schedules being implemented in care and in home.
The Parenting Place has given proof to the fact that when parents and providers are supported in concrete and coordinated ways, it has a great impact on the early experiences of a child. And so in closing with a word from a wise parent, “Maybe the answer has been inside of me. It has been there all along, once I opened my ears and my heart”.
For more information and free resources on The Pyramid Model of Social Emotional Development, visit: CSEFEL Website or The WI Pyramid Model. For more information about SFTA and our members, visit our website.