Cultivating What Matters
by the Bainbridge Healthy Youth Alliance

Welcome to the our blog, “Cultivating What Matters,” where we share articles about people, stories, projects, events, and research that are of interest to everyone on Bainbridge Island who cares about the genuine success and well-being of youth.

An Emotional Intelligence Toolbox

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Sociability, z-delete | 0 comments

An Emotional Intelligence Toolbox

“Putting ‘tools’ in my children’s ‘toolbox’ to equip them with the skills and resources they need to navigate their own life has been a parenting goal since my daughters entered school. In retrospect, most of the tools I have focused on have been soft skills or people skills, which are defined as Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Since EQ has been introduced, taught, and studied, research has shown that success is far more dependent on one’s EQ than one’s IQ. This article by Bainbridge’s own, Marilyn Price-Mitchell, both defines EQ and gives parents and educators concrete examples (the best kind!) to help children fill their toolbox.”

Julie Davis, Youth Group Leader, Grace Episcopal Church

Emotional Intelligence: A Toolbox for Success

By Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD

Are you raising emotionally intelligent children? Is your child’s teacher building a culture of social and emotional intelligence in the classroom? What methods are working?

Emotional intelligence has become a popular term since Daniel Goleman authored his book with the same title in 1995. Several decades of research not only confirms the importance of teaching kids to understand and manage their emotions, but also suggests that emotional intelligence is predictive of



Join the Island Conversation:

How do you plan to integrate these ideas into your teaching and/or parenting? In what ways do you already fill your students’ or child’s EQ toolbox?

10 Parenting Habits that Foster Healthy Relationships

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Sociability, z-delete | 0 comments

10 Parenting Habits that Foster Healthy Relationships

Teams succeed and fail according to the sociability, as well as the playing ability, of their members.  Great teams are families whose players trust each other, give frank feedback to each other, accept that feedback and work together to achieve common goals.  In the process, they laugh and cry and they recover and succeed together.  Team members who are not integrated may take either too much responsibility or not enough responsibility for outcomes of the group.

Having played for successful teams and having experienced the joy and satisfaction of common success, I always strive to recreate that experience as a coach.  We discuss leadership.  We look for leadership traits in each other when choosing captains.  We understand that no one can succeed alone.  We integrate newcomers.  We study success and failure while looking for ways to improve.

Ballan Campeau, Bainbridge Soccer Coach 

Sociability: How Families Learn Together with Love and Respect

By Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD

Each of us wants our children to develop positive relationships—to experience the power of unconditional love, support, friendship, and encouragement throughout school and life.

But we also know that creating and sustaining relationships is hard work—effort that requires a cooperative ability to interact with others.

Psychologists call this capacity sociability, and we recognize it in children when we observe their enjoyment of being together—chatting, joking, laughing, working, and creating friendships. Sociability often gets confused with being an introvert or extrovert. But if we think of sociability as a higher level concept than introversion or extroversion, this attribute is easier to grasp. Read Entire Article

Get Curious! Tips from Students

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Curiosity | 0 comments

Get Curious! Tips from Students

According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, research suggests that intellectual curiosity has as big of an effect on performance as hard work.  She notes that psychologists refer to curiosity as a “life-force, vital to happiness, intellectual growth and well-being.” Clearly, fostering curiosity is important!

Perhaps less clear is how each of us, as adults, can foster curiosity in our own children or those in our care.

Now it’s your turn to get curious and learn from two experts…local teens. Listen to the following Bainbridge Community Broadcast podcast featuring Bainbridge High School students, Maya Nathan and Emma Russell, as they share their own experience of what helps and what hinders curiosity.

Join the Island Conversation

In the podcast, Maya and Emma speak of how adults support curiosity when they focus on the experience/process of learning over the results of learning (grades/test scores).

Please share an example of a way you demonstrate this in your own home. Help us learn from one another.

Big thank you to Bainbridge Community Broadcasting!

A Bainbridge Curiosity Project

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Curiosity | 0 comments

A Bainbridge Curiosity Project

How do we encourage kids to be more curious learners?  As a former teacher myself, I admire that Scot Hoffman asked this question regarding his second grade class, which eventually led to the Curiosity Project. The five questions posted in this article are great conversation starters around the dinner table.  What would it look like if each of us modeled being curious learners and integrated some of these ideas and questions into our own family life?  Let’s experiment and share our ideas.

Tina Gustafson Pujolar, J.D., M.Ed.

Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents

By Scot Hoffman

International educator Scot Hoffman is a big believer in the power of curiosity to drive learning. After nearly two decades of teaching around the globe, he also realizes that school isn’t always so hospitable to inquiring minds. (As Einstein said, “It’s a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”) READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Join Our Island Conversation

What is one thing you are curious to try after reading this article? 

Strong, Curious, Creative Kids

Posted by on Nov 12, 2016 in z-delete | 0 comments

Strong, Curious, Creative Kids

Educators and parents often hear the words, “I’m bored”. I would like to encourage all of us to take another look at how we see boredom and how it relates to curiosity. Curiosity is defined as a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something. It allows us to embrace unfamiliar situations and gives us a greater opportunity to experience the joy of discovery. As both a teacher and a parent, I find the advice from Todd Kashdan to be very helpful.

Melissa Mann

Six Ways for Parents to Cultivate Strong, Curious, Creative Children

By Todd Kashdan, PhD

One thing is certain: for the vast majority of young children, curiosity comes naturally because so much of the world is foreign to them. But there are obstacles. Faced with the unusual, unknown, unfamiliar, and uncertain, children might feel curious, they might feel anxious, or a little of both.Consider our child’s first innocent romantic crush. Doodling pictures of hearts. Etching initials into the bark of trees. Daydreams of giggling bodies rolling down hills in unison. Read entire article.


Join Our Island Conversation:

What do you do or say when YOUR child tells you they are bored?


12 Ways to Foster Curiosity

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Curiosity, z-delete | 0 comments

12 Ways to Foster Curiosity

“Working at KiDiMu, each day I have the joy of watching young faces light up with the thrill of discovering something new or mastering something previously out of their reach. Curiosity is innately part of our hard wiring, yet also needs to be nurtured and supported as we grow up. Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD has great ideas on helping Bainbridge kids, “our” kids, become curious, lifelong learners.”

Susie Burdick, Executive Director, Kids Discovery Museum

Twelve Ways to Foster Curiosity

by Marilyn Price Mitchell, PhD

Intellectual curiosity and learning go hand in hand. But let’s be honest…

Curiosity isn’t what most of us first think about when it comes to our children’s education. We want our kids to do well in school so we usually focus on external measurements of learning and academic success — grades. READ COMPLETE ARTICLE

Join Our Island Conversation

When you are done reading the above article, please come back and share your reply to the following question. Help us learn from one another.

What do you do to show your kids that you value the process of learning at least as much as the product of learning, such as test scores?

Practicing Empathy

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Empathy | 0 comments

Practicing Empathy


In this dynamic TED Talk by Michele Borba, EdD, learn three ideas worth spreading to foster empathy.  Register today for her upcoming presentation at BHS on Nov 9th, hosted by our partner, Raising Resilience.

Check out the surprisingly young teacher in the Roots of Empathy class!

Start an Island Conversation: We can learn a lot from each other.

Please share your ideas for modeling and supporting kindness and caring in your family or classroom.



Unselfie: Empathy Matters

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Empathy | 0 comments

Unselfie: Empathy Matters

We sat down with Michele Borba, Ed.D. nationally known expert in child development, researcher and author of the terrific new book, Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in and All-About Me World.

Learn more about why empathy matters and get a taste of her talk on Wednesday, Nov 9th, 7:30-9:00pm at Bainbridge High School Commons. Hosted by our partner, Raising Resilience and co-sponsored by the Alliance. Register today.  (more…)

Supporting a Grieving Teen

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Empathy | 0 comments

Supporting a Grieving Teen

We are an Island in mourning.

Empathy, caring, kindness and compassion- the focus of our exploration this month, takes on new relevance as our community grieves the loss of Quentin Blevins, a junior at Bainbridge High School.

Many of us struggle to know what to say to our kids, and each other, about the death of a friend, child or classmate, which is why we are sharing the following article on how to help.  (more…)

Empathy-Finding “True North”

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Empathy | 0 comments

Empathy-Finding “True North”

It’s official- Beyond the Report Card: Cultivating What Matters is now launched!  We begin our exploration of the Compass Advantage framework by sharing ways to cultivate empathy, the ability to recognize, feel and respond to the suffering of others.

Michele Borba, EdD calls empathy “the core trait of humanity” that helps children navigate from within with caring and compassion as their “True North”.

Dr. Borba is the author of the fabulous new book, Unselfie and will be speaking on Bainbridge on Wednesday, 11/9/16 at 7:30 at BHS-save the date! (more…)