Episode #294: Tamara Fyke

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Tamara Fyke  is a creative entrepreneur with a passion for kids, families, and urban communities. She is the creator and founder of BlueWonder Creative which focuses on children’s mental health and wellness in education through Love In A Big World and healthcare through Brav3Up.  She is a leader for community programs as well as in-school support services, program development, and research. Tamara received her master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development and worked at Vanderbilt’s Center for Safe & Supportive Schools. She is editor of Building People: SEL for Kids, Families, Schools and Communities which will be re-released in June 2023 and author of Family Matters: Thriving as One which will be released in July. She is the proud mother of three grown children and resides in Nashville, TN.

Trenches story: last spring 3/27/23 school shooting in community. Had a ripple effect on everyone. Org she works w/- some kids attend that school. Had to go into emergency management mode. Host time to talk w/ parents as a staff. Gave ppl a forum to talk about their concerns, safety protocols. Dug into human side of the issue. Has worked 30 yrs. in edu. Has been at sites post-incidents to help thru issue before. They didn’t want to push the fact kids could talk, as not to incite fear. She called family who was most impacted. Outside of regular-programming communication shows care.  Spent a lot of time working w/ staff to value one another. 

Can talk about current role: IS still in the CR in a non-traditional setting. oversees a program for 300 kids-is in charge of programming herself for 0-5th grade. At Vanderbilt, w/ Dr. Nation, his research there centered around how to make schools more accepting. Look at how educators relate to one another in terms of bullying. Love in a Big World provides mental health & wellness supports- play as key ingredients in curriculum. 

We offer both grade-level specific and multi-age curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten through High School. Our resources for both teachers and students guide them through the immersive activities, providing support for students’ social-emotional needs. Can be weaved into academic integrations, after school and summer programs.

Pd for staff: Topics include:

Trauma, Equity & SEL: Moving Kids from Risk to Resilience- most requested. Examines impact of trauma- uses character education

Building Relationships through Positive Language

The Power of Play- 2nd most requested

 Brav3Up: is launching this year, optimistic goal. Partners are eager to get it underway. As organization founder, she wears a lot of hats. Answers come when you keep your mind open. OWning a business is like penultimate character development. Teaches kids entrepreneurship. 

She often customizes training for staff.Both in person & virtual, whole school or smaller PLCs. It helps to be flexible. There are no “typical” PDs. The most important thing is to create buy-in w/ admin & their educators. Provide choices. Can be as little as 2 hrs. Does optional coaching-regular monthly check-ins w/ group.

Live events for students: Assembles & student workshops: takes a team out to do. Can do w/ whole st. body or grade-level student workshops. It helps to have smaller #’s when there’s specific groups. Can be a couple sessions. Like a concert w/ high energy for assemblies. St workshops work great w/ MS & HS. Provide instruction around the 24 character traits. Asks st’s to create content around traits, PBL. They can book 3+ months in advance. 

Tamara Publishes monthly for the Learning Council.com & EdCircuit. She likes to provide addt. resources to ppl beyond curriculum

 Will be speaking at conference Apr 30-May 3- BOOST conference- after school focused conference. BOOST collaborative.com 

out of everything: There's the importance of just showing up. We forget how we have the power to anchor our children. We need to provide opportunities to have meaningful conversations. Click To Tweet. Use tools like a song, show, etc. 

Where can ppl find you online: www.loveinabigworld.com  Info@loveinabigworld.com

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tT61tsYDDJs



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