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Children introduced to brainpower

By Ayesha Hana Shaji
Texas Metro News Staff

Micaela Rodriguez
Micaela Rodriguez, Managing Producer with KERA, tells about a new podcast for children.
Photo: Nina Garcia

It was a day of brainpower as the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas hosted a BrainHealth Week Family Fun Fair to celebrate the importance of brain health. The week-long affair brought together families from all over the city, who were eager to participate in the exciting brain-healthy games and activities and learn more about brain health.

Stephen White, Chief Operating Officer of the Center for BrainHealth, said the week is about letting people understand that they can start their brain health journey at a young age and that it’s pretty easy.

Steven Lee
Steven Lee, from NASA, speaks about a mission to Mars. Photo: Nina Garcia

“What we found is that people want to do something for their brain,” he said. “They just don’t know where to start or how to do it.”

White said little things make a big difference and their organization is trying to spread that message.


Girl Scout program facilitator Holli Foley said the fair promotes social skills that are essential in life. She said it’s easy to get held in the spiral of negative emotions when one feels overwhelmed.

“To be able to have these tools and resources and coping mechanisms on the brain is really awesome,” she said. “And starting at this age, it’s going to help them as an adult to not, you know, succumb to stress.”

As an incentive to encourage this learning, Girl Scouts who attend the event receive a patch, Foley said.

Gail, with Center for BrainHealth, was explaining a brain game to an interested child. Photo: Nina Garcia

The day also included an informative session by Steven Lee, Deputy Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, where he shared insight into the Mars mission and how curious brains translate into a love for exploration.

KERA was also present to give the audience a sneak peek into their bilingual mindfulness podcast for children. They also organized a sound immersion experience with musician Ashley Alarcon from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Young Musicians.


Chanida Tanghongs, a nurse at UT Southwestern Medical Center is the mother of sixth-grader Charrisa Tanghongs. She said there aren’t many events catered to students who might be interested in medicine, and it is really awesome that UT Dallas is hosting one.

According to White, the brain stays plastic throughout life and so practicing good brain health is important at any age.

“And what we know is the sooner you start them, the better off you are. So why not start with kids?” he said. “It’s not fantasy, it’s not make-believe. It’s very, very real.”

Having lost his mother to Alzheimer’s Disease, White said he was fascinated to learn that one can take an active role in improving their brain health.

If there’s one thing he wants folks to take away from the event, it’s that being better to your brain is actually very easy.


“And it’s not like going to the brain gym, you don’t have to find an hour and a half in your day to go think about your brain,” White said. “You have your brain with you every moment of every day. So if you just use it a little bit better, it makes a big difference.”

To learn more about brain health, visit Center for Brain-Health.

Ayesha Hana Shaji is a 2022 graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where she was on The Shorthorn staff.

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