Early education is getting a lot of multimedia exposure. There are blogs and, increasingly, podcasts, including the Early Link Podcast, produced by the Children’s Institute, a nonprofit organization in Portland, Ore.
The institute’s vision: “We imagine an Oregon where every child is prepared for success in school and in life.”
Its mission: “Move research to action by promoting cost-effective public and private investments in our youngest children pre-birth through third grade.”
The institute’s Early Link Podcast “highlights national, region, and local voices engaged in the process of early childhood education. Children’s Institute works to ensure a strong beginning for all Oregon children with a focus on investments and strategies that strengthen services on the prenatal through third grade continuum.”
The advantage of podcasts? They can pay attention to stories that the mainstream media misses.
Here’s the opening to a recent Early Link podcast, “Yoncalla Strives for Long-Term Change:”
“Yoncalla is a close-knit rural community that sprawls away from the freeway for miles into the countryside. It has two schools. Yoncalla High School, which houses grades seven through 12, is in disrepair. Yoncalla Elementary houses grades pre-K through six. It too needs repairs, but it has received special attention in recent years because of the Early Works Initiative, a partnership between the Ford Family Foundation, Yoncalla School District, and Children’s Institute. The newest addition to Yoncalla Elementary is the preschool for 4-year-olds…”
The podcast describes how Yoncalla improved the quality of its pre-K program. There’s a new curriculum that addresses social and emotional needs as well as literacy and math. The classroom is designed “to tap the problem-solving skills kids already possess. Much of the school day is also designed to be student-led.” And parent involvement is important.
Another Early Link podcast looks at how the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is involved with early learning. And a third podcast features an interview with Ruby Takanishi about her book “First Things First: Creating the New American Primary School.”
So, check out the Early Link podcasts. They’re bringing more attention to the power and untapped potential of high-quality early education.