Gloria N. Lindsay, OTR/L., MA
Secretary / Project Management
My name is Gloria Lindsay. I have been an occupational therapist for over thirty years. I want to share a little about the background experiences that have helped to prepare me for my work communicating the message of the Ready4LearningClub.
After working one year for the California Youth Authority (CYA) in Inglewood, California; I spent the next twenty-five years owning, managing, traveling and then contracting Occupational Therapy services in northern and southern California, Norway, Hawaii, Georgia and South Carolina.
My specialty area is hand therapy and chronic pain. General occupational treatment skills include treatment of stroke, traumatic brain injury, coma, and trauma. My first job at CYA working with young people in crisis remains my favorite. Perhaps because these young people demonstrated such immediate need and energy for life change.
Off and on during the next twenty-five years of working mainly in adult physical disabilities, I volunteered for community programs that were available for teenagers who were at risk for crime, incarceration and associated challenges that would negatively impact their quality of life. In northern California I volunteered one afternoon a week of hobby or pre-vocational exploration with male teenagers living in a group home. In Hawaii, I volunteered one afternoon a week at a community pre-school for developmental play activities.
Then came the Ready4LearningClub.
The Ready4LearningClub was created by my sister, Angela Lindsay, in Savannah, Georgia. I have been involved periodically in that program since it began in 2005. I became interested in the Ready4LearningClub when I happened to call my sister one night. I heard her voice and knew immediately she had a very bad cold. I began to mother; asking her if she had her tea and orange juice, her throat lozenges. When I started encouraging her to sleep and maybe take several days off work; she surprised me by saying she was taking one of her students to an art museum for a music performance in less than an hour.
It was cold outside and raining in Savannah. I tried to threaten her, "You need to stay home and take care of yourself!" She explained that this little boy was the oldest of five siblings and his single mother was dying. She was going to keep this appointment.
Angela called me the next day to tell me about the music program. It was James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones. When the narration came to this part:
"Go down death…go down to Savannah, Georgia down to Yamacraw Village and see Sister Caroline, she is tired and I want you to bring her home to me…"
Angela and her little 8 year old date jumped in their chairs; stared each other down… eye's popping and mouths wide open. This little boy lived in Yamacraw Village, in Savannah, Georgia; and his mother did die a few months later.
This little boy (who had to grow up fast) used the Ready4LearningClub tools of writing about the painful feelings of loss and anger in his head. He used this tool a lot, because his mother had been a poet too, and writing about her was a way for him to continue to share a special bond with his mother, even as she passed away. This tool also kept him from exploding about how unfair life seemed, and able to be the big brother his four little sisters needed to lean on, as they all went through the worst loss a child can imagine, the loss of the only parent they knew, their mother.
This was when I knew the Ready4LearningClub was something special. My sister told me she created the Ready4LearningClub to put the tools directly into the hands of children just like this little boy, who would need them to emotionally survive life's hard knocks. She also told me she put emotional intelligence and resilience tools inside songs on the CD the children would sing. Each time the children listened to and sang these songs that they loved to sing, they implanted these tools deeper and deeper into their psyche, and into their life survival strategy.
In 2010 I returned to my alma mater, Loma Linda University in southern California, to complete the Master's program for occupational therapy. I completed that program in September, 2012. I am currently pursuing a certificate from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in Lifestyle Intervention.
I believe in community interventions such as the Ready4LearningClub, and in the awareness that we can effect huge global change on issues that affect our children's survival and success, when we begin at the community level, using research-based, effective, easily accessible, and fast-acting strategies. I am passionate and eager about getting this message into the hands of those who most need it, our children.
For the children,
Gloria N. Lindsay, OTR/L., MA, Secretary / Project Management
Ready4LearningClub – It's How You Learn!