Though many parents challenge their children to make good grades, focusing on the way they work and improving their brains outside of regular homework hours makes just as much difference.
For Michelle Davis, director of Learning Rx East Chattanooga, that message is a key inspiration to host this year's Back to School Bash at Heritage Park.
The Aug. 6 event features food, fun and brain games for children that are simple for parents to duplicate at home.
Brain exercises such as mental tic tac toe, which requires memorization and critical thinking, are key in helping to maximize a brain's potential, Davis said. Such games can lead to improvements in a wide range of academic courses and overall ability to study and retain information, she explained.
"It's something that gets looked over, I think, even though it is what actually drives mental performance," said Davis.
Additionally, brain games can help enhance focusing abilities for those with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. With an estimated 11 percent of children in the U.S. diagnosed with ADHD — a percentage which rises each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — teaching the brain such skills is imperative, Davis added.
"We live in a world with all these multi-surface stimuli and the brain is being trained to require that, which makes it much more difficult to sit still and read a book," Davis said. "And that brain health is so important."
The Back to School Bash runs from 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Heritage Park is at 1428 Jenkins Road.
In addition to learning games, students will be able to challenge Learning Rx brain trainers and one student will win a free assessment, valued at $200, Davis said.
To learn more about Learning Rx, visit learningrx.com.
Email Gabrielle Chevalier at firstname.lastname@example.org.