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The Early Link Podcast
29 minutes | 2 months ago
Hadiyah Miller on Improving Outcomes for Young Black Children in Portland
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto speaks with Hadiyah Miller, president of of the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children (ORAEYC) and chairperson of Black Child Development PDX about combating the expulsion and suspension of Black children in early learning. Guest Hadiyah Miller is the current president of the ORAEYC and works as the African American Family Childcare Network Coordinator at the Childcare Resource and Referral of Multnomah County. She also serves as the Early Childhood Chairperson for the board of Black Child Development PDX. Summary Miller shares how Black Child Development PDX connects community members, Black leaders, and allies to change outcomes for young Black children in Portland. She explains that their present focus is on preventing the expulsion and suspension of Black children in early learning. This work is being done by elevating the Black experience and the Black voice in the legislature, and by supporting teachers to identify and fight their implicit biases so they can begin to shift how they respond to Black children. Background Research has shown that Black children make up 18 percent of preschoolers, but make up nearly half of all out-of-school suspensions. Different standards exist in schools for white children, and implicit bias plays a role in teachers responses to the actions of Black children. Kids who are suspended or expelled from school are more likely to drop out, and those dropouts are more likely to end up with criminal records. This is known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Get Involved ORAEYC will be hosting two different communities of practices starting in December 2020. These events will be open to anyone who is interested in this relationship-based learning experience focused on equity and social justice. Visit their website at www.oraeyc.org.
33 minutes | 5 months ago
Black Lives Matter Organizer La Mikia Castillo on Systemic Change and Dismantling Racism
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with La Mikia Castillo, a Black Lives Mater activist and community organizer, about what it looks like to dismantle systemic racism. Guest La Mikia Castillo is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, and an organizer with Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles. Summary La Mikia clarifies the message around defunding the police and shares how we can start to reimagine a new idea of safety. She also explains the ways in which systemic racism has impacted the health and education of black children and children of color and what it will take to see real change in these institutions. Finally, La Mikia shares her idea of what a world free of racism would look like for her and her son. Resources: Children’s Institute has Racial Equity Resources for Early Childhood as a hub for resources and guidance on racial justice and equity issues that connect to early childhood. It is not comprehensive but will be updated regularly.
27 minutes | 5 months ago
Reforming Oregon's Child Welfare System with Jax Richards
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with Jax Richards, the president and founder of Safeguard Youth, about Oregon’s child welfare system. Guest Jax Richards is an economics and social public policy student at Oregon State University. In 2019 he started Safeguard Youth with the mission to provide a platform for foster youth and survivors of child abuse to advocate for a higher quality child welfare system. Background In April, A Better Childhood, a national advocacy group, and Disability Rights Oregon filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Human Services, alleging the agency revictimizes children in its foster care system and has failed to address documented problems for at least a decade. The lawsuit paints a picture of a system that, through its dysfunction, further traumatizes children who were taken from their families on the premise that the state would better care for them. There are 10 plaintiffs with stories ranging from being forced to stay in refurbished jail cells, to being drugged to gain compliance without consent. Since 2006, the state has paid $39 million in legal settlements over allegations of abuse and neglect.
26 minutes | 6 months ago
National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto speaks with Tabatha Rosproy, the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. Tabatha Rosproy, a 10-year veteran Kansas teacher, is the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. She teaches preschool for Winfield Early Learning Center (WELC) in Winfield, Kansas. Housed in Cumbernauld Village, a local retirement community and nursing home, her inclusive classroom is an inter-generational program that provides preschoolers and residents with multiple daily interactions and serves special education and typically developing preschoolers in a full-day setting. She also served as a co-chair of the educator task force that helped compile Kansas’s continuous learning guidance for how to approach distance learning during COVID-19. Tabatha shares her experience with engaging families in student learning and highlights the necessity of a partnership between teachers and caregivers for student success. She also talks about the importance of keeping students connected to one another during distance learning. As Tabatha looks towards the next year, she discusses her plans to use her new platform to advocate for early learning educators across the country.
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Distance Learning for Preschool with Janice Lewis
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with veteran teacher Janice Lewis about what it means to provide remote learning to preschoolers. Guest: Janice Lewis is a preschool teacher at Vose Elementary in the Beaverton School District. Background: Distance Learning for All, a campaign from the Oregon Department of Education, officially launched across public schools in Oregon in mid April. The goal is to keep public education students learning their material for the school year while they are at home. This means teachers are finding new, creative ways to engage their students remotely. Inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning that emphasizes the student’s role in the learning process. Rather than the teacher telling students what they need to know, students are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions, and share ideas.
28 minutes | 7 months ago
Culturally Specific COVID-19 Liaisons: Regina Ingabire and Virginia Luka
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with Regina Ingabire and Virginia Luka about their role as culturally specific COVID-19 liaisons. Guests: Regina Ingabire is a Community Outreach Manager at the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM). She leads public engagement initiatives focusing on disaster risk awareness, community resilience, and household preparedness in historically underserved communities. Virginia Luka is a Program Specialist for the Pacific Islander Community at the Multnomah County Health Department. Her research experience includes Pacific Islander culture and history, with a focus on Micronesia. Summary: Regina Ingabire and Virginia Luka share what it means to be a culturally specific COVID-19 liaisons and the importance of considering culturally specific needs during this time. They also discuss why accurate demographic data collection matters, and how they are focusing on building community resilience. Resources: Look to the Multnomah Country Website for a daily situational report, webinars, and access to resources in different languages.
27 minutes | 8 months ago
Native Wellness in the Time of COVID-19
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto delves into the importance of focusing on Native American wellness and the impact of COVID-19 on Native communities. Guests: Jillene Joseph is the Executive Director for the Native Wellness Institute and a partner with the Future Generations Collaborative. Suzie Kuerschner is also a partner with the Future Generations Collaborative and serves as the Education Mode Coordinator. Background: The Future Generations Collaborative was formed by the Multnomah County Health Department and other community partners in 2011 to promote healthy pregnancies and cultural healing in the Native community, and to create a positive relationship between a government agency and the Native community. The Native Wellness Institute is a nonprofit that exists because of the lasting effects of intergenerational trauma and how that contributes to the contemporary trauma that exists in Native American communities today. The institute focuses on providing opportunities for healing, growth, and development. Resources: In the midst of this pandemic, the Native Wellness Institute is providing a daily program called Native Wellness Power Hour on Facebook Live. Everyday at noon pacific time there is an hour long workshop consisting of storytelling, activities, concerts etc. These workshops can also be found on the Native Wellness Institute’s YouTube page.
20 minutes | 8 months ago
Dr. Carlos Crespo on COVID-19 and Community Impact
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with Dr. Carlos Crespo about COVID-19 and the impact on families and communities. Note: This is a developing story and some things may have changed since the date of recording. Check the CDC’s website for updates and best practices on how to stay healthy. Dr. Carlos Crespo is a community health professor at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. He studies the connection between physical activity and health among minorities.
45 minutes | 10 months ago
Student Success Act: Scott Nine, Parasa Chanramy, Dana Hepper
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with local education policy experts about the implementation of the Student Success Act. Guests Scott Nine is the Assistant Superintendent at Oregon Department of Education. He has spent almost two decades organizing, writing, speaking, and learning about what it takes to foster equity for students and remodel public education systems. Parasa Chanramy is the Policy and Implementation Director at Stand for Children. Parasa started her career as a kindergarten teacher at a K-8 charter school in North Minneapolis. After teaching, she went on to work as a Policy and Advocacy fellow at Charter School Partners where she developed a nonprofit business plan to pilot a new parent advocacy organization called EMPOWER: Education Matters—Parents Organizing and Working for Education Reform. Dana Hepper is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Children’s Institute, she oversees the organization’s legislative advocacy and community engagement work. Dana started her career as an elementary school and preschool teacher, then she worked at Stand for Children for nine years doing community organizing, policy, and advocacy before joining Children’s Institute. Background The Student Success Act (SSA) was passed during the 2019 Legislative Session. It mandates that Oregon will allocate $1 billion in new education investments each year, beginning in the 2020–2021 school year. The SSA investments are allocated into three separate accounts: The Student Investment Account ($500 million) will be used used to meet students’ mental and behavioral health needs, and to increase academic achievement and reduce disparities for students of color; students with disabilities; emerging bilingual students; students navigating poverty, homelessness, and foster care; and other students that have historically experienced disparities in our schools. Statewide Investments ($300 million) include High School Success (M98); expansion of nutrition programs; school safety; African American/Black Student Success Statewide Plan; American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Plan; Latinx Student Success Statewide Plan; ESD support for school districts; summer programming; and the High Cost Disability Fund. The Early Learning Account ($200 million) funds will go toward early learning opportunities for kids under 5. Examples include: Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education; Early Head Start; Healthy Families Oregon; Early Childhood Equity Fund; and professional development for early childhood educators.
11 minutes | 10 months ago
Swati Adarkar Interviewed on 1190 KEX
Swati Adarkar discusses the role of Children's Institute in driving educational change in communities across Oregon. She also describes recent legislative wins through the Student Success Act, the power of partnerships that connect practice to policy, and the growing momentum to strengthen early care and education for young children and their families. Concordia University will honor Adarkar with their Governor Victor Atiyeh Leadership in Education Award on February 4, 2020. The award, named for former Oregon Governor Victor Atiyeh in recognition of his life-long passion for and leadership in education, is presented each year to a leader who has profoundly changed the odds for our children to succeed in school and life.
35 minutes | 10 months ago
Soobin Oh Discusses Anti-Bias Education in Early Childhood
In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto speaks with Soobin Oh about the importance of anti-bias education in early childhood. Soobin Oh is the senior education advisor at Children’s Institute. He is a committed social justice educator and is well-versed in anti-bias education, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and critical pedagogy. Soobin holds a master’s in early childhood inclusive curriculum and instruction from Portland State University (PSU) and is working towards his Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction at PSU with a research focus on social justice in early childhood education. Definitions: Institutional Bias is the tendency of institutions to advantage and favor certain groups of people while other groups are disadvantaged or devalued. Explicit Bias is attitudes and beliefs of individuals about other people or groups of people on a conscious level. Implicit Bias is attitudes and beliefs of individuals about other people or groups of people on an unconscious level. Implicit bias is a problem for educators because it can come into play in a classroom without intent. A Tourist Curriculum is a superficial educational approach that does not make diversity a routine part of the ongoing, daily learning environment. Instead, it is curriculum that “drops in” on strange, exotic people to see their holidays and taste their foods, and then returns to the “real” world of “regular” life. Essentially it treats non-western cultures as “other.”
30 minutes | a year ago
Rob Grunewald on the Economic Impact of Early Childhood Investments
Rob Grunewald is an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Grunewald conducts research on community development and regional economic issues. He co-authored a report called “Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return” in 2003. Since then he has continued his work supporting and advocating for investments in early childhood programs and services.
21 minutes | a year ago
2019 Year in Review
2019 has been an incredible year for early childhood. We recorded 13 episodes of The Early Link podcast this year. For this, our 14th show, we review some of the common themes shared by our many esteemed guests, and share what’s on our minds as we move into 2020. This is our final Early Link podcast of the year, a 2019 year in review and look ahead to 2020.
40 minutes | a year ago
Dr. Anya Hurwitz on the SEAL Model
Dr. Anya Hurwitz is the executive director of SEAL, an organization based in Oakland, California that is at work improving the education experience for English learners. SEAL stands for Sobrato Early Academic Language, and is a model that includes curriculum, professional development and technical assistance so schools and teachers can better meet the needs of English learners. Dr. Hurwitz has been a teacher, school leader, and district administrator, and has a doctorate in educational leadership from University of California Berkeley. She has been on the SEAL team since 2014 and the SEAL model, today, is used in more than 100 programs and schools in California.
27 minutes | a year ago
Dr. John Kitzhaber on Health Care Transformation
Dr. John Kitzhaber is well known in Oregon and across the country for his expertise on health care and health policy. He has practiced as an emergency physician, served for fourteen years in the Oregon legislature and three terms as Governor of Oregon. Through his service, he authored the Oregon Health Plan and was the chief architect of the state’s Coordinated Care Organizations. Today, he continues to work on ways to improve the lives of children and families in the state with an eye on improving our health systems and how government spends its resources.
28 minutes | a year ago
Tools of the Mind with Dr. Deborah Leong
Deborah Leong is professor emerita of psychology at Metropolitan State University of Denver where she taught for 37 years. She is co-founder and executive director of Tools of the Mind, a curriculum and professional development program that was developed more that 25 years ago for early childhood classrooms to improve how children learn and how teachers teach. Dr. Leong also has extensive experience working on and publishing about early childhood assessment and standards. In this episode, we discuss the history and development of Tools of the Mind, brain development and the importance of play, and the role of assessment in early childhood settings.
25 minutes | a year ago
Dr. Christina Weiland On Combating Inequality With Early Childhood Investments
Christina Weiland is an assistant professor at the School of Education at the University of Michigan. Dr. Weiland’s research focuses on the effects of early childhood interventions and public policies on children’s development, especially on children from low-income families. She is particularly interested in the active ingredients that drive children’s gains in successful, at-scale public preschool programs. Her work is also characterized by strong, long-standing research collaborations with practitioners, particularly the Boston Public Schools Department of Early Childhood. Christina is also an author of book Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality.
22 minutes | a year ago
Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson Discusses Preschool For All
Host of The Early Link Podcast, Rafael Otto, talks with Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson about her recently released Preschool For All report that explores how to provide preschool for all families in the county.
27 minutes | a year ago
Community Efforts Deliver New Health Clinic To North Douglas County
In the city of Drain, Oregon in Douglas County, a new health clinic has just opened, thanks to lots of community-based work involving schools, parents, and advocates in the region. The North County Health Clinic is operated by the Umpqua Community Health Center based in Roseburg. I visited the clinic during their recent open house. I wanted to find out what it took to open the clinic, and why the community was motivated to do so. I spoke with several people from the Umpqua Community Health Center, also known as UCHC: Ruth Galster, the UCHC board chair, Mark Tsuchiya, the UCHC marketing and development director, and Kendra Bickham, a grant writer at UCHC and member of the Early Works leadership team Yoncalla Elementary. I also spoke with Sara Ruiz Weight, a parent leader at Early Works, and Andy Boe, the superintendent for the Elkton School District.
20 minutes | a year ago
2019 Legislative Recap
Dana Hepper from Children's Institute and James Barta from Children First for Oregon provide a legislative recap to close out the 2019 session. In this segment, they discuss the final days that resulted in passage of nearly 150 bills, including all remaining bills from the Early Childhood Coalition legislative agenda. Among the highlights are bills that fund universally available voluntary home visiting and create a task force on child care. Oregon also passed HB 2005 which creates a paid family and medical leave insurance program by 2023.While the 2019 legislative session resulted in historic investments in children and families, Dana and James reflect on the work ahead. That includes advocacy efforts to support the Student Success Act. The way in which this bill is funded will likely be referred to voters in January 2020. It also includes the work of implementing new programs, a focus on ensuring program quality, and continued advocacy in the months and years ahead.
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