Written by guest contributor Adriane Blackman. On any given day in a preschool classroom at Yoncalla Elementary School, the atmosphere is abuzz with light and warmth. Kids and teachers are immersed in activity. Some children play in the kitchen “cooking” a meal for...
The school season is upon us once more, carrying with it the usual back-to-school hustle and bustle of drop-offs and pick-ups, prepping school lunches, homework, and a whirlwind of after-school activities. While some of us may not feel entirely prepared for the...
The sun dips lower in the sky on a hazy evening in late August, casting a warm golden hue across the football field at Yoncalla High School. The hum of excited chatter sets the scene, and children laugh and play. As the night unfolds, the sounds of music from a live band dance through the air as families mingle and children savor the remaining sunlight, on the cusp of a new school year. Framed by a stunning view of the Umpqua Valley, Yoncalla’s annual community barbecue has become a symbol of togetherness, woven into the fabric of the town.
We're sitting across the screen with Dani Boylan, director of early learning at St. Helens Early Learning. This is her second year running Kinder Camp after several years of teaching preschool. Students from three schools (McBride, Columbia City, and Lewis and Clark) gather in the kindergarten classes of the latter’s elementary school, filling the hallways with joyful sounds. Though their program faced significant state budget cuts which limited the scope for 2023, teachers and administrators in St. Helens worked together to reorganize for the year. They made a plan that made the most of the resources available, setting up intentionally small class sizes and offering support for children with varying social emotional needs. I eagerly pull my list of questions in front of me, and we begin our virtual interview.
Yesterday, Early School Success teams from four school districts across Oregon met up for a first-of-its-kind leadership camp hosted by Children's Institute. Throughout the day, educators and administrators explored methods for creating change at the school and district levels while examining perspectives on identity, collaboration, and psychological safety. Together, these dedicated early education professionals are reshaping their school communities to make a positive impact on children. Read the full story to learn more.
In June, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2023 KIDS COUNT data book with national and state-level data on child well-being across four core areas: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The 34th edition of this critical...
Unraveling Oregon’s 2023 Legislative Session: Wins, Missed Opportunities, and Powerful Advocacy for Early Childhood
On June 25th, the 2023 Oregon Legislative session officially ended. Despite an unusual session and some legislative misses, we still achieved positive outcomes for young children with persistent advocacy and the hard work of Oregon's Early Childhood Coalition, and community partners. Although our work is never done, we are making progress. With each step, we continue to drive policies that help make Oregon the best place to be a kid.
On this episode of the Early Link Podcast, host Rafael Otto sits down with JaNay Brown-Wood, an award-winning children’s author, poet, educator and scholar. She writes about stories that celebrate diversity, inclusivity, self-esteem, and learning.
On this episode of the Early Link Podcast, Rafael Otto speaks with Judy Jablon, founder and executive director of Leading for Children. Judy discusses her initial leap into the early learning field after working with young children at Bank Street College in New York City, an experience that piqued her curiosity and led her to a career in teaching. She shares her experiences working with educators, being a curious learner, and the importance of being leaders for children. She also talks about her book, The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders, and shares how early childhood educators can embrace optimistic leadership. Finally, Judy talks about how an intentional focus on equity is vital in working with adults and educators.
Taking Action to Improve Social Emotional Services for Young Children: The Power of Data and Metrics
This is a special production created with our colleagues at the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership (OPIP). OPIP is a public private partnership seeking to create a meaningful, long-term collaboration of stakeholders invested in child health care quality, with the common purpose of improving the health of all children and youth in Oregon. This episode explores recent developments in the health sector here in Oregon meant to improve the care for children ages zero to five.