Brainable teaching kids about brain health at their most impressionable

The one-time “engaging and interactive 75 minute session,” will supplement GTA health and science school curriculums in both English and French with a qualified teacher explaining the best ways to protect brain health.

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Children in Grades 5-8 in the GTA are being offered some help at school in 2022 from the Women’s Brain Health Initiative.

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WBHI, the Canadian charity that funds research into brain conditions that disproportionately affect women, has just launched a free new pilot program called Brainable they hope to bring to 15,000 GTA students in those grades, where they’re deemed the most impressionable.

The charity would like to eventually expand the program to the rest of Ontario and then Canada and even high schools.

“We’re starting school visits in January,” said Brainable program director Jade Crystal.

“So as of now teachers, students, parents, can go onto our website, brainable.ca, and sign up. We’ve already gotten a ton of requests so people are definitely interested in it. We’ve gotten 50 requests but those are for multiple classes so definitely over 100 in terms of numbers of classes.”

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The one-time “engaging and interactive 75 minute session,” will supplement GTA health and science school curriculums in both English and French with a qualified teacher explaining the best ways to protect brain health.

The idea is that the earlier students learn, the better chance they’ll have at preventing brain-aging diseases like Alzheimer’s (70% are women) and dementia.

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“Research says that the brain peaks at 25 years old,” said Crystal. “So, everything you did before that, is so important in terms of actually protecting the brain. And a lot of people don’t even realize that even the foods we eat today are affecting our brain for the future.”

Crystal said students will be taught the six pillars of brain health – physical exercise, food and nutrition, medical health, sleep and relaxation, mental fitness and social interaction – and receive a work book, parents will get a tip guide and teachers will receive a follow-up lesson.

And even if students are out of class for whatever reason, the program can be taught virtually.

“We want to teach them all these important things about the brain but we want to do it in a fun way,” said Crystal. “and we want to supplement what their teachers are already teaching them in school but just from a different perspective.

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