Extra, extra, read all about it!

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, JCC member, employee, etc.––all are welcome to take part in our brand new ELS Community Read program.

Starting July 23, come join us as we read The Whole-Brain Child by Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson. The fabulous Chelsea Schwartz, an ELS Educator, started this program and we can’t wait to see where it goes. In order to get a better picture, we sat down with Chelsea to learn more about this Community Read.

How did you decide to start an ELS Community Read?

Chelsea Schwartz: A part of my job as an Early Childhood Educator is to develop connections between teachers and parents along with our community. I thought that a community book read would be a great opportunity to bring all three together and ultimately bond over our love for children. The children at the JCC are seen throughout the building and chances are if you’ve been here then you’ve seen or interacted with them. The goal of this book read is to inspire, support, and pivot our perspective on our most beloved children.

Why did you choose The Whole-Brain Child as the group’s first book?

CS: Two of my co-workers are in a yearlong cohort and they’re reading the book in their group. After hearing about it from them I thought it’d be the perfect book for a community read: it’s relatively short (two chapters per meet up) and easy to read. The book is geared towards parents and also speaks to teachers. What I love best is that the book is broken down into strategies that can help with common struggles that both parents and teachers experience. I think it’s fair to say we all want to help foster healthy social and emotional children and this book is a great catalyst for beginning to talk about how we can do that together.

Do you plan on organizing more community reads in the future?

CS: I’d love to start with this book and observe its success. I’m going to start graduate school in August so my plate will be pretty full. That doesn’t mean it cannot go on, though! While I might not be in a position to lead another book right away I would encourage others that found this first book inspiring to go ahead and pick another one!



Want a description of the book before you sign up? No worries, we’ve got that covered:

“Your toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of a store. Your preschooler refuses to get dressed. Your fifth-grader sulks on the bench instead of playing on the field. Do children conspire to make their parents’ lives endlessly challenging? No––it’s just their developing brain calling the shots!

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling book Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson demystify the meltdowns and aggravation, explaining the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids can seem-and feel-so out of control. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.”

Feeling intrigued? We sure are! If you are interested in being a part of this Community Read, please email Chelsea at cschwartz@jccdenver.org. The first meeting will take place on Monday, July 23. Please let her know in your initial email if 4:15 pm or 5:30 pm would be a better time to meet.

We hope to see you at our Community Read!