We fund organizations and projects which disrupt our current behavioral health space and create impact at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
We support local grassroots organizations that are working to advance recommendations outlined in the Think Bigger Do Good Policy Series.
Our participatory grantmaking alters the traditional process of philanthropic giving by empowering service providers and community-based organizations to define the strategy around a specific issue area or population.
We provide funds at below-market interest rates that can be particularly useful to start, grow, or sustain a program, or when results cannot be achieved with grant dollars alone.
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Contact Alyson about grantmaking, program related investments, and the paper series.
Contact Samantha about program planning and evaluation consulting services.
Contact Caitlin about the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness, the Annual Innovation Award, and trauma-informed programming.
Contact Joe about partnership opportunities, thought leadership, and the Foundation’s property.
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NeuroLogic Initiative is a professional development program that provides brain-based, trauma-informed strategies to those working on the front lines with students. Our program begins with an intensive training for all school staff, that introduces trauma and its impact on a student’s brain. We explore common problem behaviors in the classroom, and identify how they could potentially be rooted in one’s life experiences, rather than a choice to be disruptive or disrespectful. We then explore a multitude of practical strategies, that can be done in schools, that focus on stimulating the brain regions our students are operating from, in an effort to help regulate them in the moment, and promote healthier brain development for the future. We then follow up our initial intensive with both live and pre-recorded coaching sessions, that are designed to support schools as they navigate making the significant changes they are making to meet their students’ needs. Through the live sessions, we are able to individualize our recommendations and strategies, to meet the unique needs and culture of each program we work with. Through the use of technology, we are equipped to provide these services either in person, or across the world, through or video studio.
Many schools only focus on a singular region of the brain, the cortex, this is the region that reading, lecturing, and notetaking focuses on. Some schools recognize the need to work a little lower in the brain and pay attention to the limbic system by providing focus on healthy relationships and safety. At NeuroLogic, we recognize that many students, due to trauma and stress, actually need a school that pays attention to the bottom regions of the brain, stimulating their brainstems and midbrains. The students who chronically fight and lash out at staff and students, or who shut down and disengage from school, cannot simply be suspended into better cooperation. Instead, we need to meet them where they are in the brain, and create a culture that allows schoolwide tools that stimulate that region through creative interventions including but not limited to brain breaks, fidgets, desk-cycles and dogs.
When a school partners with NeuroLogic and chooses to create a more trauma-informed program, what they are really signing up for is a complete culture shift. These culture shifts are virtually impossible without the direction and support of school leaders. Staff need to feel comfortable thinking outside of the box for how they can, “prepare their students brains to learn.” We work hard to coach leaders in strategies they can utilize to promote a “think-tank” mentality with their staff, where they work together to come up with the best strategies to meet a student’s needs. Additionally, with shifts this significant, there is always some element of staff pushback. We strategize with leaders to help them face any pushback in a way that, instead of causing any dissension, will actually help the staff to become a united front, which in the end, improves the student experience.
NeuroLogic currently operates on a streamlined staff and offers all of its services for a fee. With the support of our parent organization, Lakeside, NeuroLogic is now fully funded by the professional development we provide. While we are fortunate to accomplish this, we also recognize that this limits us from helping some of the schools who have the most significant need. We are currently developing a program where through the generosity of donations, grants, and rewards, we can “sponsor” schools for a year, providing our full range of services at no cost to schools who will greatly benefit from our partnership. We have a growing list of schools whose primary reason for not partnering with us is lack of funds.
Our goal at NeuroLogic is to positively disrupt the way schooling is done in America, and we recognize that this can only be done with a program that can be molded to fit within a multitude of different schools and organizations. Through the support we provide, we have seen our approach to education uniquely replicated in urban, suburban, and rural schools in America. Additionally, we have even seen success in using our approach with a high school in Oslo, Norway. We recognize that when working with schools, there is a fine balance of instruction, practical strategy, and ongoing support, that allows for significant change to occur. Through several years of trial and error, we are confident we have discovered that balance, and are now seeing accelerated improvement in the schools we have the opportunity to serve.
Many of the results that we see can be difficult to quantify. The teacher who redirects less, the student, who for the first time, feels like they can be successful at school, the administrator who is hearing less complaining around the water cooler. Much of our work starts with these climatic changes, and then trickles down to the actual numbers. One significant change we work towards is making a school that is physically safer to attend. Lakeside school, an alternative school under Lakeside’s umbrella, who serves 150 students, 6th through 12th grade each year, wanted to focus on the number of physical altercations they saw each year. In the 2016-2017 school year, they had 25 such incidence. So far, in the 2017-2018 school year, they have experienced zero physical altercations. Lakeside has fully embraced the NeuroLogic approach, and is confident that these interventions play a significant role in this reduction.