Dina Dinosaur teaches classroom skills in Fayette 01.26.2011

Written by David Green.

dino.1When Dina Dinosaur is awakened from her traveling case, students start paying attention to details. They learn to listen and to wait—good skills to have in the classroom.

Dina, a puppet, is operated by Mandy Wyman, a school counsel employed by the Four-County Family Center based in Toledo.

Fayette Elementary School has joined four others in the area to receive a weekly visit from Wyman to implement the  Incredible Years prevention program.

The Dinosaur Child Training Program uses puppets to teacher kindergarten and first grade students skills to strengthen their social, emotional and academic competencies.

Through the free 10-week program, Wyman will help students understand and detect various emotional states; control anger; learn problem-solving techniques when angry; see ways to be helpful and friendly at school and at home; learn about sharing; and develop positive play skills.

dino.3Dina Dinosaur’s role is to help children do their best in school. Other puppets address different skills. Wyman also shows videos and alternates group circle discussion with work at the children’s desks.

Material is provided to teachers so they can reinforce what Wyman presents during the remainder of the week. In addition, homework is assigned that gives parents a view of the program.

Wyman’s goal is to boost self-esteem and self-confidence and reduce negative conflicts among students. This, in turn, should lead to more academic success.

“This is a wonderful prevention program,” said Kathy Short, director of the Four County Family Center. “Teaching social and emotional skills to our young children is important to their successful growth and development.”

Wyman reports receiving a positive response from school districts she’s served.

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