Small Talks, No. 57
April 29, 2022
Dear Small Talker,
Welcome to the fifty seventh edition of Small Talks. Every Friday, I highlight 6 areas of weekly joys and reflections in early childhood and the whole family. Small Talks leverages my experience at the intersection of education, philanthropy, and impact investing. Enjoy!
What I’m celebrating -
Interesting study (2018) shows that curiosity for young children is more predictive for school performance than ability to stay focused…Somewhat intuitive, although not aligned with most school practices that tend to undervalue curiosity.
The State of Preschool 2021 report by NIEER (National Institute for Early Education Research) is here, and the picture isn’t pretty. 2021 saw 20 years of preschool enrollment gains disappear! The greatest negative impacts have been on low-income and minority preschoolers and their families.
With uncertainty regarding a Federal legislation in early childhood education and care in the U.S., States are making hopeful progress.
Vermont is also actively working to secure a statewide system of child care that centers equity, affordability, and quality by 2025. I was honored to participate this past week in a conversation with Let’s Grow Kids’ CEO Aly Richards and fellow early childhood education advocates, Lynette Fraga, Child Care Aware of America, Marica Cox Mitchell of Bainum Family Foundation, Lisa Klein of Impact Fellows Action Fund, Rob Lair of Hula, and Chris Nelson of Mountain View Child Care.
An inspiring feature by Mark Swartz at Early Learning Nation of East Kentucky Dream Center. The community-based organization supports families stuck in the cycle of poverty. Their answer is to “build relationships”.
What I’m listening to -
Betsy Corcoran, EdSurge founder, reflects on her remarkable impact, and gives some generous shout-outs to women in education. An inspiring podcast.
Big Brains podcast “Why We Need To Invest In Parents During A Child's Earliest Years” is an excellent interview with Dana Suskind. More below on her exciting new book.
What I’m reading -
“Parent Nation” launched this week. With this landmark book, my friend and colleague Dana Suskind, pediatrician at the University of Chicago, is launching one of the most exciting movements in the field - catalyzing momentum for better policies supporting families. Bravo!
What I’m watching -
This trailer about the literacy crisis in the Bronx: 1.5 million children in the Bronx do not have access to a bookstore. Can’t wait for the documentary that will premier on May 21.
What I’m learning and exploring more deeply -
Beautiful reflections by Matt Greenfield, partner at Rethink Education, about “How our schools need to change”
Important review of three healing school districts by education research organization MDRC, highlighting a framework for healing at the system level following the pandemic.
Khan Academy launches another bold program - Khan World School, an online high school that innovates on instruction at multiple levels: small group classes, peer-to-peer learning, 10 essays, and more.
A stunning visualization of the COVID effect on academics.
Poem I’m pondering -
Feedback is a gift. Which part above is your favorite? What did I miss? What do you want more or less of? Other recommendations? Please kindly let me know. Thank to all of you who are sending me amazing suggestions.
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Have a wonderful week. Please stay safe and care for each other.