Welcome to our Fall 2022 Community Update!
Read on about the following topics:
Hidden Potential? Feeling that your child's report card doesn't reflect their full potential? Our latest webinar is a must-listen to about how we can work together to unleash hidden potential.
Back at it: A snapshot of fun moments from our complimentary book clubs and field trips!
Student Skill Profiles: Commitment, Leadership & Resilience: This month we profile three students who exemplify three critical student skills, part of our new ongoing series about skills for the future.
Faculty Spotlight: Learn more about Dr. Jenn Chenkin's Public Speaking Academy and Dr. Adam Richter's work on geniuses!
Alumni Spotlight: Watch and learn more about Michal Moshkovich, a Brain Power alumni and successful medical school student who has lots of advice for our students!
Education Hot Topic: How do low standardized test scores impact high potential and high achieving students?
If you are like many parents of bright children, you may read your son or daughter's report card and feel it doesn't reflect the capable, creative and curious child you know. You may even feel frustrated with your child or school. What can you do about this common challenge?Brain Power Toronto Campus Head Dr. Joel Benabu and CEO Vanessa Iarocci recently joined a panel moderated by CBC Host Sarah Meehan to answer the question:
How can you unlock the hidden potential in your child?
Our insights are based on over 30 years educating bright children and the latest in educational research. For families already working with Brain Power faculty, rest assured that the methods and insights explored in this webinar are already part of your child's Brain Power learning experience!
Back at It!
Being part of Brain Power means being part of a community. COVID-19 lockdowns prevented us from engaging students in co-curriculars for almost two years but this year we are back at it! Some of our co-curricular highlights this year have been:
An afternoon with author and illustrator Robyn Gram who shared her original manuscript art and answered many thoughtful student questions!
A VIP experience at the Rotman School of Management where students participated in a panel discussion and book signing with renowned scientist David McRaney about his groundbreaking book 'How Minds Change.'
'Chess with Yoni' a complimentary monthly chess drop in-that introduces students to the most famous strategy game in the world!
Extra help SHAD applications including 1:1 connections with SHAD alumni
Complimentary personalized meetings with our CEO Vanessa Iarocci and Dr. Karine Rashkovsky to support high school application processes.
& much, much more! (stay tuned for EVEN MORE guest speakers, special events and VIP learning opportunities through the winter and spring season!).
Student Skill Profile Commitment
Commitment means doing what needs to be done regardless of your talents or your mood. We tell our students that commitment matters - at school and in life.
This month we are pleased to profile Jackie Poenaru! Jackie exemplifies commitment in everything she does! Faced with taking the SSAT exam amidst a very busy academic and extracurricular schedule, Jackie participated in our 'Mastering the Admissions Process', 'Entrance Exam Preparation' & 'Cultural Capital' programs. She actively participated and went above-and- beyond on all her assignments. Jackie also took full advantage of all the 1:1 support provided by Brain Power faculty, booking sessions with individual faculty and asking for additional feedback. Jacquie earned a 97th percentile on the SSAT including an astounding 99th percentile on reading! WOW! We are all so proud to be part of her learning journey and can't wait to continue growing with her in the years ahead.
Jackie - the world is your oyster!
Student Skill Profile Leadership & Service
Leadership & Service are key skills for our students' futures. It is not enough to "know." Our students must also learn they will need to "do" in order to be successful in whatever they pursue.
You may recognize our incredible student Mark Raspopov from previous newsletters that highlight his incredible academic accomplishments! Recently, Mark approached us to share that he wanted to launch a youth charity, focused on mentorship and motivation. WOW! Founder Dr. Karine Rashkovsky and CEO Vanessa Iarocci were honoured to encourage Mark to pursue this path and joined Mark's Board of Directors to continue to mentor him.
Mark: We are so proud that you want to share your talent by being a leader in your community!
Student Skill Profile Resilience
At Brain Power, we teach our students the importance of resilience. Adapting and tackling obstacles that arise will be the key to succeeding in the workplace of the future. For many high potential students, success can be easy so teaching resilience is hard!
We are so proud to showcase our student Dawne Shen. She has been at Brain Power for several years in our Language Arts, Math & Problem Solving, and Public Speaking programs. Dawne is a straight-A student at school and both Dawne and her parents sought out Brain Power specifically to challenge Dawne so that she would be able to stretch her potential in a challenging learning environment. Dawne was typically a reserved student - not quite entirely aware of her own brilliance and capabilities. However, over the last year Dawne and her parents witnessed an incredible transformation in Dawne during her Brain Power classes; namely, Dawne has gained tremendous confidence! Recently, she chose to take on the stage in the "Infiniti Strings" show as a speaker and went out on a limb to try out for her school's competitive Model UN team - and she was accepted! We were so thrilled when Dawne shared her Model UN news with us (Dr. Karine proudly shared the news with our entire faculty!)!
Dawn: We loved witnessing your transformation and are honoured to be part of your success journey!
Faculty Spotlight Dr. Jenn Chenkin
Dr. Jenn Chenkin recently concluded an intensive project with global experts to build new programming for our Public Speaking Academy to augment the excellent programming that Dr. Karine Rashkovsky has been leading for many years. Our newest grade 4-5 public speaking class was oversubscribed and featured in City Life Magazine.
You can read the full article here. We especially loved Dr. Chenkin's inspirational words to young students:
“THIS IS HOW YOU CHANGE THE WORLD: BY CONVINCING OTHER PEOPLE TO BELIEVE IN YOUR IDEAS AND SHOWING THAT YOU CAN BE A LEADER”
We still have space in many of our public speaking programs and recently expanded our academy to include many workshop options. Click the button below if you want to learn more about how to join our Academy.
Dr. Adam Richter, a specialist in geniuses, has been working tirelessly on our new workshop series: 'Think Like a Genius', launching as part of our 'Innovator & Explorer' spring and summer series. Dr. Richter hosted a special lecture and sneak-preview about some of his insights earlier this month at the Prosserman JCC. Over 50 students joined us for: ‘Galileo: Hero or Heretic.’
To recap some of Dr. Richter’s key takeaways about ‘what we can learn from Galileo’:
It’s okay to say ‘I don’t know’ and to be wrong sometimes
Don’t be dogmatic!
Science often 'changes its mind’ (this is, in fact, the evolutionary nature of science!)
At Brain Power, we believe that the human stories of great thinkers may, perhaps more so than science itself, be the ’spark’ that ignites the next Galileo or Einstein or Jobs! Perhaps even from our own student body. If you are interested in learning about more geniuses or participating in some of our new workshops related to innovation & exploration, you can review our Winter / Spring flipbook. Dr. Richter will also be leading a full summer series exploring this theme!
We could not be prouder of our alumni Michal Moshkovich. Michal's family was familiar with Brain Power's math programs and signed her up for introductory math lessons. Her growth has been the story of Brain Power's growth! Michal grew up with us, taking all of our math and language arts classes, as well as our public speaking classes! When she was done all of the Brain Power classes, she began to assist in teaching and supporting our admissions team while going through the arduous process of medical school applications. Michal is even on the cover of our math textbook!
We were so thrilled this June when Michal was admitted to ALL of the medical schools of her choice. While we miss seeing Michal day in- day out in our programs and in our classrooms, we are so proud of her many accomplishments and can't wait to celebrate many more!
Michal is one of many Brain Power alumni who have been admitted to medical school. If you want to learn more about careers in medicine, join us for our 'Future Doctors' series later this year - an interactive panel discussion for students interested in general advice about pursuing a career in medicine. Click on the button below to add your name to the invite list!
One of the most disappointing and talked-about pieces of education news this fall was the release of Ontario's EQAO standardized tests. Dismal highlights included:
The majority of Grade 6 students in Ontario failed the province's standardized math test.
While results did worsen during the pandemic, pre-pandemic results were equally grim with 52% of Grade 6 students not meeting the standard in 2018 and prior.
Our faculty are often approached by parents of high-potential students who feel that there is so much focus on catching- up to the standard that 'exceeding the standard' isn't part of the education conversation. Many parents even feel embarrassed to ask this question, given the need for so many students to access remedial support. However, it is an excellent question as research shows that 60% of high potential students underachieve based on their potential when they are not sufficiently motivated and challenged. This phenomenon is called the 'enrichment gap.'
At Brain Power, we know that five learning elements of learning can help 'close the enrichment gap' for students who are motivated and ready 'for more.' We work hard to ensure that each element is incorporated into your Brain Power experience.
Fact: When young people are actively engaged – when they feel seen and heard - they learn much more effectively.
Brain Power students enjoy small class sizes, cross-curriculars & social events which allow for personalized student engagement, which develops a strong sense of belonging and community.
2. Academic Mentorship
Fact: Mentorship provides high-potential students with the discipline, academic rigour, and encouragement necessary for intellectual growth and exceptional performance.
Brain Power’s faculty hold advanced degrees, have university-level research and teaching experience, and are experts in their respective field of study. They are uniquely equipped to harness the curiosity of high-potential students and guide them in their learning and educational choices.
Fact: Students who consider hard work and dedication as stepping stones to success achieve more than those who rely on innate talent only.
Brain Power students are trained to adopt a ‘growth mindset’ (the belief that one’s basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work). In each lesson, students & parents receive targeted and specific feedback and must implement this feedback in a continuous growth loop.
Fact: Unless challenged, high-potential students are easily bored; they thrive in fast-paced environments when surrounded by like-minded peers.
Brain Power programs are an average of 1-3 grades above Ministry standards and are delivered in age-appropriate peer groups.
Fact: 60% of high-potential students will actually underachieve in a non-stimulating environment.
Brain Power’s classes provide a stimulating learning environment to a wide range of learners. Our classes do not rely on rote worksheets or drills, which are too easy for high-potential students, and our curriculum is calibrated to the highest cognitive domains: creating, evaluating, analyzing.
At Brain Power we believe high-potential students deserve every opportunity to grow and develop to their full potential. Enrichment education matters and it works. We are always ready to meet with families to assess and/or re-assess high potential students and make proactive recommendations on programs and opportunities that will help our brightest young students achieve their full potential. Click the button below if you have not yet completed a Brain Power assessment for the current year or if you are interested in learning more about an enrichment workshop opportunity. If you are interested in reading more about the the academic sources behind these five elements you can consult the resources below:
We are pleased to share that new sections for the 2022/2023 season have opened. If you have not reserved your spot this year email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more if your student qualifies.
Stay tuned for the big announcement of our 2023 summer and fall programming schedules! We will provide advance notice to all families so you can reserve your spot in our 2023 summer and 2023 fall programming! We want to ensure that existing families have front-of-the-line access to our future programs!