Stress: Toxic to the Brain and Learning Literacy Skills by Noel Foy This month's blog post was written Noel Foy, one of our Keys to Literacy trainers who is an expert on learning and the brain and who has just published a children's book about anxiety titled "ABC Worry Free". In her post, Noel discusses how stress affects learning. Stress is a topic typically associated with adults, but with the increase in anxiety disorders among children over the last ten years, its impact on their ability to learn literacy skills is worrisome. Neuroscience research reveals the brain can experience stress as feelings of anxiety, anger, frustration, boredom or lack of personal relevance. Unfortunately, many students in classrooms across the country find themselves in at least one of these negative states on a chronic basis, causing the amygdala, the brain’s personal watchdog for potential threats, to activate the stress response.