While volunteering 20 years ago at the San Joaquin County Office of Education, Loren Geiger encountered children who were intelligent but had serious difficulty learning from their school books.
As the years went by, Geiger's concern about these children became a passion, so much so that she persuaded a small private school in Galt to offer a special class for people known as "right-brained," some of whom have Attention Deficit Disorder. It will be known as the SMART Kids Program.
Most people are "left-brained," which means they can easily read and understand books and concepts. Right-brained learners are more visually oriented, said Geiger, a Lodi resident, who does counseling through her non-profit organization, Direct Your Future. She counsels individuals, couples and children who are right-brained and have Attention Deficit Disorder. She will be added to her church's staff once the Foursquare Gospel Church organization licenses her to the church's standards.
"They don't communicate very well," Geiger said of right-brained students. "They can't put words together well. They can be defiant."
Geiger said she learned about right-brained students through her son, who is now 24.
"He's very good at hands-on projects," Geiger said.
So he's well suited for his construction job, she added.
Geiger's passion got to the point where she approached the board at Valley Christian School in Galt, which is run by her church, The Gathering Place, a Foursquare Gospel Church. The board recently agreed to offer a special class - two if there is enough interest - for right-brained children in third through fifth grade. Enrollment is currently being taken.
Geiger said she believes that the class will fill a void that public schools can't because of the larger enrollment in public schools.
"I think there's a need," said Denise Much, a teacher and administrator for the school of 10 students (it had 35 last year). "They're not challenged; they learn in different ways. I have some students who do better when I read to them. Others are better when they read it themselves."
Jacqueline Rotto, a spokeswoman from the San Joaquin County Office of Education, said there aren't any specific programs locally for right-brained children, but teachers receive training to teach students who learn with different senses, such as with visual, audio or touch.
The special class planned for Valley Christian will have about 10 children. There will be two classrooms if there is enough demand, said Geiger.
How to enrollContact Valley Christian School, 501 B St., Galt, or call 745-2049 and say you're interested in the SMART Kids program.
Examples of right-brained people
- Singing, music, art, writing and designing things are
- Being an intuitive thinker. You may get the answer to a math
problem, but may not be sure how you got it.
- Moves rapidly from one assignment to another without finishing
the first one. Sometimes you forget what you're working
- Needs to see the whole picture, then examine the parts that
create the whole. You need to know why you need to know this
- You tend to see the present and future as opposed to the
- Your views come through your personal experiences.
- You know what you mean, but have trouble expressing
- You don't comprehend phonics too well.
Examples of left-brained people
- You want information piece by piece to solve a math problem or
work out a science experiment.
- You want processes in proper sequence.
- You're probably a good speller.
- You think in the present and past.
- Dealing with facts or conditions without letting emotions,
personal feelings or others' interpretations distort the
- You can express yourself very well.
- You can memorize vocabulary words and math formulas.
- You're probably punctual and recall people's names easily.
Famous right-brained peoplePresidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Artists Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Vioncent van Gogh. Others include Walt Disney, Gen. George Patton, Hans Christian Anderson, Thomas Edison, Sir Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, John Lennon, The Wright Brothers, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Socrates, Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates.
Source: Jeffrey Freed and Laurie Parsons, author of "Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World," Published by Simon & Schuster