Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
Before children learn to talk, it may seem like not much is happening. In fact, from age 0 to 3 is the most important time for brain development. In those first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second. Young children naturally reach out for interaction. In the absence of responses, their brains don’t form as expected. That can impact their learning and social development.
What do we need to do to ensure all of New Mexico’s children get effective early brain development?
On this month’s Public Square, we talk with experts, educators and advocates, including Ellen Galinsky, founder of Mind in the Making and author of “The Seven Essential Skills Every Child Needs.”
Community leaders include Dan Haggard, deputy director of the Children Youth & Family Department’s Early Childhood Services, Brenda Kofahl, Pre-K program specialist with the Public Education Department and Heather Vaughn, early childhood manager with Albuquerque Public Schools.
Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.
Public Square, Preventing Child Abuse, Thursday December 27 at 7 p.m. on New Mexico PBS 5.
How can New Mexico combat child abuse? The state had more than 6,500 victims of child abuse and neglect last year and almost half of those victims were 5 years old or younger. The child injury death rate in the state is 1.5 times higher than the national average. In most cases, biological parents caused those deaths.
Yet, experts say child abuse is totally preventable. In this month's Public Square, we talk with doctors, advocates, home visitors and law enforcement about what it would take to make that a reality.
Community leaders include State Senator Mary Jane Garcia, Yolanda A. Berumen-Deines, secretary of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, and Jared Rounsville, protective services director for Children, Youth and Families Department.
Join us for Public Square where civic dialogue takes center stage
CLNKIDS to be Featured on Public Square - Thursday, 9/27 @ 7:00 p.m., CH5 - KNME
CLN is a program for children experiencing homelessness.
Generation Justice has decided that September is Early Childhood Awareness Month. We would love to include your important Early Childhood work in our awareness month. Here are some ways that we can collaborate:
1. Please help distribute our Early Childhood Development/ Little Feet Walk Loud videos .
2. Our Generation Justice radio show, every Sunday at 7pm on KUNM, includes a community calendar. Please let us know about your Early Childhood events so we can announce them on our Sunday shows and post them on our website.
3. On September 30th we will dedicate our full radio hour to Early Childhood Development. Please send us your ideas for possible interviews, information, or discussion topics.
4. Let us know if there are any upcoming community gatherings or Early Childhood Development events that we might be able to consider covering.
Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico's premier daily news with information on the arts and culture scene, where to go and what to see. Real estate, classified advertising and more
From The Santa Fe New Mexican July 3rd, 2012
Our June 28th Public Square episode will tackle access to quality childcare. As we all know, early childhyood experiences are the key to later success in school and in life.
The neuroscientific research on the early brain is one of the most compelling bodies of evidence for investing in young children. Conveying this message broadly is critical to building support for early childhood policies and programs. Yet it can be difficult to find experts to speak on this topic, or for lay speakers to convey the findings on their own. To address this challenge, ReadyNation, with the help of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, offers a variety of ways for lay speakers to present this data. More information is on the New Mexico Early Childhood Community web site.http://bit.ly/NmWtbB
Associated Press (NM)
NM seeks $25 million in early childhood programs
The state of New Mexico is seeking $25 million from the federal government for tracking data on early childhood programs, creating standards for preschools and helping to develop new programs in needy areas. …Some specifics outlined in New Mexico's initial application--which is subject to change--propose creating areas in communities with many at-risk students and community-wide desire for change.
Read full article.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Awards $771,000 Grant to UNM College of Education’s Family Development Program
The Family Development Program in the University of New Mexico’s College of Education has initiated a new project titled, Circles of Support, a major system-building initiative strategically designed to build a strong foundation for early childhood education within a community school, aimed at closing the achievement gap for vulnerable children
Phase I as a year-and-a-half long (Jan. 2012 – July 2013) project is funded by a grant of more than $771,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
A yearlong Circles of Support project planning phase was also funded by W.K. Kellogg for more than $465,000, bringing the total support for Circles of Support from W.K. Kellogg to $1.236 million.
“Circles of Support provides outreach services at both a system-wide and place-based neighborhood level to address inequities for children and their families that compromise children’s success in school,” said Lois Vermilya, program director, Family Development Program.
The Circles of Support project provides comprehensive professional development for Mind in the Making through integration of seven essential skills (7ES) for school readiness and academic success. FDP works closely with the ABC Community Schools Partnership (ABC) and the Early Childhood Accountability Partnership (ECAP), a network group of early childhood leaders who represent multiple disciplines and programs serving Bernalillo County, who together are developing collective impact strategies to align investments for underserved children and their families. FDP has also partnered with ABC, local school leadership and ECAP to focus attention on a continuum of early learning, birth into elementary school, adding value to strategic goals of ABC as a collaborative investment.
“The goal of the Family Development Program (FDP) is to build authentic relationships throughout the community that engender a shared knowledge of the science of early learning with an emphasis on play as how children naturally learn,” said Vermilya.
The project serves three target areas of high poverty in Albuquerque including the Southwest Mesa, South Valley and International District neighborhoods. During the planning phase of the project from June 2010 to Aug. 2011, FDP developed four trusted relationships with targeted community schools including Helen Cordero Primary, Pajarito Elementary, La Mesa Elementary and Manzano Mesa Elementary Schools.
FDP offered the integration of 7ES to Albuquerque Public Schools early childhood leaders and began system-wide training with the City of Albuquerque’s Child Development Programs and Youth Development Inc., Albuquerque’s two major Headstart and Early Headstart providers. FDP also established new training opportunities with Public Health WIC offices in the target neighborhoods and launched a Neighborhood Leadership Academy to develop local early childhood leadership for sustainability.
FDP’s philosophy promotes a belief that partnering for school success begins at birth.
• Developing an understanding of essential skills of early learning through integrated professional development of Mind in the Making, FDP’s Watch Me Play learning series, and the Nurtured Heart Approach;
• Active engagement of parents, families, and grandparents as true educational partners by assuring they have equal access to high quality child development information and best practices;
• Strategic outreach to neighborhood early childhood services (including early learning centers, Headstart, community programs and public health clinics) as essential assets for community schools, cultivating partnerships for school success;
• A yearlong Neighborhood Leadership Academy that engages informal leaders, (especially parents and grandparents) to work collaboratively with community school staff and other civic leaders toward goals that foster partnerships between families, their neighborhoods and their community school in support of early learning.
“Circles of Support has been carefully designed to ‘push up’ developmentally appropriate practice by engaging a broad range of adults from many different circles and levels of leadership within a neighborhood, to share the same understanding of how children learn based on the science of child development,” said Vermilya. “The initiative is also intricately involved in both articulating in theory and then working to apply in practice new strategies for early childhood alignment, systems development and collective impact.”
The Family Development Program operates from a history and framework based in human rights and equity. FDP focuses its program through two core strategies that have endured throughout its 26-year history and are creatively pursued with intentionality including providing the highest quality early childhood training that supports educators/ families and helps raise knowledge, skills and awareness on the importance of early childhood development, and secondly, bridge building through a strong practice of honoring relationships and partnerships.
For more information on the Family Development Program, visit: http://coe.unm.edu/administration/partnerships-and-outreach/family-development-program.html.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.
For more information on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, visit: http://www.wkkf.org/.
Update: Early Education Day of Action a Success
Early Childhood Educators!
Thursday 130 Early Educators, Parents, and Children flooded the round house to talk to their Legislators about the importance of the Early Learning Constitutional Amendment.
The phones were also flooded with your calls of support from across the state and the message was clear, this is the year for Early Education. Here is a news clip of members who drove 5 hours each way to have their story told.
Reprinted by permission of the author Lynn Olson
All around town there are the blue signs of early childhood education proponents, people here in Deming who believe the key to schools that get A's instead of F's has to be turned before kindergarten.
The idea behind the signs is that pre-schools are now an unarguable necessity. Many children today come from homes where circumstances do not allow them to be raised with the steady parental attention and interaction most received routinely years ago.
While all of society functions much differently this century, children are still the culture's future; what they become is what the country will become.
For the sake not only of each child but for society as a whole today's children must have as sound, healthy and fair a beginning life as most of yesterday's did. The difficulty of life for some children today - absent parents, crowded households, lack of health care, sometimes inadequate food, clothing or even shelter, limited mental stimulation and supervision and scant one-on-one attention - must somehow be overcome by improving their immediate environment.
Children, who for whatever reason, have not been taught in their first few years how to communicate, listen, respect others, and act appropriately in different situations, before they go to kindergarten, are not ready to learn anything more complicated.
Behind from the start they hinder progress for all the children around them because their development level demands the time-consuming attention a two- or three-year old, not a five-year-old, requires. Some youngsters never do catch up, often much later finding solace in gangs, drugs or worse. For these reasons today - and for society tomorrow - enriching, dependable, loving day care or "early education" centers are not a luxury but an indisputable, urgent need.
Yet last year dozens of day-care centers around New Mexico closed for want of funding. As the nation's economy crashed, New Mexico like most other state governments cut social spending to the bone and beyond.
Subsidies to struggling families with young children for day care became unavailable even while requirements that parents work remained. Parents' incomes were not enough to cover living expenses and the full cost of good child care, too. The result was more welfare spending or, often, child neglect.
This week the legislature meets to discuss primarily financial matters. More state budget cuts are possible, as are more reductions to revenue. Funding for child care is again a maybe-maybe-not budget item.
As all the blue yard signs suggest, however, there is another way. New Mexico has a fund of money permanently set aside to prevent the state's ever becoming totally insolvent. The principal of this fund cannot be touched, but part of the interest that it earns supplements budget money for K-12 education and other specifically-listed colleges, prisons, hospitals, etc.
The blue-sign people are asking the legislature to increase the part of interest spent on all those societal necessities just enough to add early education as a listed societal necessity also, and to give it, too, a reliable source of supplemental funding.
Successful early childhood development is indeed the key to better education at all levels.
Turning the key requires a constitutional amendment. As the blue signs say, "Early Education Amendment Voter," people aware of the genuine need and its viable solution are lining up to open the door. They see no danger to the permanent fund nor to the budget but much benefit to individuals and to the state, from now into the future.
For more information contact Lindsay Theo, 505-948-1492, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.nm.aft.org.
To help unlock the money for early education only, contact Deming's State Senator and Chair of the Legislative Finance Committee, The Honorable John Arthur Smith, good and stalwart protector of the permanent fund, its interest and the status quo, at 505-986-4365 or email@example.com.
Even, maybe especially, the wisest among us can be educated to new ways of thinking when logical, irrefutable facts are presented. In any case, get a blue sign for your yard, 575-544-7522.
Lynn Olson is a Deming resident.