Bruening Supports Beech Brook’s S.T.E.P.S. Expansion
Bruening Supports Expansion of Beech Brook’s S.T.E.P.S. Program
In May 2017, The Bruening Foundation awarded a $73,000 Strong Start grant to Beech Brook for expansion of the S.T.E.P.S. (Security, Touch, Eyes, Play, Sound) program. S.T.E.P.S. is a research-based practice for parents of children ages 0-4 that encourages healthy parent/child bonding, increases parent knowledge about infant/child brain development and supports parents in nurturing their child’s cognitive and social-emotional development.
Initially offered by Beech Brook in 2011, S.T.E.P.S. has been shown to increase the time parents spend reading with their child and engaging in interactive play/talking and other brain-stimulating activities. The program has also been demonstrated to impact how parents think about the way the brain develops, increasing parental knowledge that children learn by playing and that different activities stimulate different parts of the brain.
The Bruening Foundation’s investment will allow Beech Brook to increase the frequency of S.T.E.P.S. classes at Beech Brook’s Family Drop In Center in the Central neighborhood, conduct in-home visits with families participating in S.T.E.P.S. to reinforce learning and guide at-home activities, implement S.T.E.P.S. for teen parents at East Tech High and integrate elements of S.T.E.P.S. into parenting classes offered by collaborating community organizations.