Brain Trust

Train Your Brain

Prompted by an alarming increase of widely preventable head injuries in young people, The Center Foundation pioneered the “Train Your Brain” program. This elementary school outreach was developed to provide ongoing innovative, research-based curriculum to educate youth about the importance of helmet use and brain and spinal cord injury prevention. We reach over 2,000 students each year in local schools and distribute over 1,000 helmets annually to those in need.

The Back Story:

Years ago, a young Bend boy was struck by a car while riding his bike without a helmet. He was rushed to the ER where one of The Center Foundation’s board members, a neurosurgeon, was on call. Tragically, and in spite of our board member’s best effort, the boy did not survive.

As a result, and with the intention of preventing further tragedies, The Center Foundation adopted programs to educate our grade school kids on the importance of protecting their brain and spinal cord by learning and using good safety skills.

Today, The Center Foundation offers educational presentations to youth organizations in Central Oregon, including: elementary schools, boy scouts, pre-schools, summer camps, and English as a second language class. The presentations include age-appropriate discussions of brain and spinal cord anatomy and injury prevention techniques such as street, car, and bike safety. These active and fun sessions conclude with a melon drop helmet demonstration.

Students are asked to bring their helmets for a fit and function assessment. If a child’s helmet is ill fitting or damaged, or if they do not have a helmet, a new helmet will be properly fit and provided by our team of helmet experts at no cost.

Our athletic trainers and volunteer partners present to third-grade classrooms across all of Central Oregon. Check back soon for our 2021 presentation schedule.

Managing traumatic brain injuries in our young athletes

Proper management of closed head injuries in young athletes begins well before an athlete actually suffers a concussion. The Center Foundation initiates the following best practices to manage concussions and prevent devastating Second Impact Syndrome:

  • Athletes in high-risk sports take pre-season baseline ImPACT tests every two years.
  • Athletic trainers and physicians educate teachers, coaches, and athletic directors to detect the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  • The Center Foundation provides concussion awareness educational information on signs and symptoms to parents and students.
  • Athletic trainers continually educate athletes about the risks of concussions and the importance of reporting their signs and symptoms.
  • If a young athlete is suspected of sustaining a concussion, they are removed from play until cleared by a qualified medical professional.

Learn more about our concussion management practices.

Did You Know?

We donate over 1000 helmets per year to youth in our community.

Helmet Safety Tips

If you know of a child who is in need of a bike helmet, please contact Stuart Schmidt at [email protected]