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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...


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...


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.


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...


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...


Dr. Ajay Chaudry on Combating Inequality Through Early Care and Education

Ajay Chaudry was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy in the US Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that appointment in the Obama administration, Dr. Chaudry was a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. He has led public policy research focused on child poverty, child well-being and development, human service programs in the social safety net, and the early childhood care...


The Latest from Salem: May 10, 2019

Dana Hepper, director of policy and advocacy at Children's Institute, and James Barta, strategic director at Children First for Oregon, provide a timely policy update on the current legislative session.Key takeaways: -The Senate vote on HB 3427, which has passed the House and allocates $2 billion to education, continues to be delayed. -Approximately $400 million in this package is dedicated to early childhood. -Oregon Business and Industry is neutral on the bill. -Many Republican senators...


A Trip Down Memory Lane At Orchards Head Start

Bob Harding and Teri Seaton are two people who might not seem like they have much in common. Bob works as a bank executive and, with his wife Shannon, is raising three young kids on a 5-acre hobby farm in Stafford, Oregon just east of Tualatin. They have 30 chickens, 3 goats, a cat, and a dog. Teri Seaton lives in North Portland with her husband, Greg Stevens. Not a single chicken, goat, dog or cat can be found in her house. But though she has no children of her own, she does spend a lot of...


Policy Update with Dana Hepper and James Barta

Dana Hepper, director of policy and advocacy at Children's Institute, and James Barta, strategic director at Children First for Oregon, provide a timely policy update on the current legislative session. They discuss draft legislation that includes a $400 million investment in early childhood, the recent work of the Early Childhood Coalition, the power of voter voice, and more. Take your voice to Salem! The next public hearing in the Joint Committee on Student Success is Thursday, April 18,...


The True Cost of Early Childhood Programs with John Tapogna

John Tapogna, president of the Portland-based economic consulting firm, ECONorthwest, recently completed a cost analysis of early childhood programs in Oregon. His work reviewed enrollment numbers, program eligibility, and cost per child spending for a suite of early childhood programs for children birth to age 5. These include publicly funded preschool, child care subsidy programs, home visiting, parent support groups, and special education services, among others. Tapogna recommends...


Building a Culture of Care at John Wetten Elementary

We visited John Wetten Elementary in Gladstone, Oregon recently to learn about how the district and the school are working to address ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences. Superintendent Bob Stewart and Principal Wendy Wilson have worked to establish a “Culture of Care” in the school that relies on building relationships with students and establishing an environment of predictability and safety. They’ve recently added a new classroom called the Skills Learning Center (SLC) that serves as a...


On Transforming Education with Dr. Pedro Noguera

Dr. Pedro Noguera is an acclaimed sociologist whose research and scholarship focuses on how schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional, and global contexts. He is the distinguished professor of education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and faculty director for the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA. In this interview, we discuss the lack of progress in closing achievement gaps in...


An Interview with Dr. Walter Gilliam

Dr. Walter Gilliam joins us in Portland for a discussion on preschool suspension, expulsion and implicit bias. He is professor of child psychiatry and psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center, and the director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. He coauthored the book A Vision for Universal Preschool Education, and his groundbreaking study from 2005 called “Prekindergarteners Left Behind” examined expulsion rates, and reasons for expulsion, in...


An Interview with Representative John Lively

As we prepare for the 2019 legislative session, we spoke with Oregon Representative John Lively, a democrat representing Springfield, District 12. He has lived in Springfield for more than 50 years but was born in LaGrande and grew up in Wallowa. He has served on the Springfield City Council and as the city’s mayor and is headed into his seventh session for the Oregon legislature. Last year he began serving on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education where budget recommendations are made...


Black Student Achievement in Portland: A Conversation with Kali Ladd and Ron Herndon

In this segment, we speak with Kali Ladd and Ron Herndon. Kali is executive director and co-founder of KairosPDX, a nonprofit organization that houses a public charter school in North Portland. As an organization, Kairos is dedicated to closing opportunity and achievement gaps for historically marginalized children. Ron is the long-standing director of Portland’s Albina Head Start with a background in activism and leadership advocating on behalf of low-income families and children. We...


SMART Helps Foster a Love of Reading in Young Children

In this podcast, we spoke with Chris Otis, executive director at Start Making a Reader Today, also known as SMART, and Michelle Gilmore, SMART’s senior program manager. SMART is a nonprofit organization focused on helping kids learn to read and getting more books into the hands of young readers. We learned more about the organization, and their work as part of Earl Boyles Elementary's Summer Bookworms program.


Circle of Security Provides Tools to Help Children Build Secure Attachments

In this podcast, we speak with Glen Cooper, founder of Circle of Security, a program that helps parents, caregivers, and early childhood educators develop tools to form secure attachments with children and understand how to meet the needs of children who have experienced trauma. Having learned that Circle of Security was being used as part of a pilot program for mothers at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, we were curious to learn more about how the program was developed. Glen, who has...


In Early Works, Data Empowers Parents to be Key Decision Makers

For our 23rd segment, we interviewed Dr. Marina Merrill from Children’s Institute (CI) and Dr. Beth Green from Portland State University (PSU). Dr. Merrill is the senior research and policy advisor for CI and leads the organization’s research on prenatal through third-grade issues, evaluation, data collection, and analysis. Dr. Green is a research professor and the director of early childhood and family support research at the Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services at PSU....


Home Visiting Programs Support Young Children and Families

In this segment, I visited Ha Mi Da and her family at her apartment in Southeast Portland. Ha Mi Da came to the United States from a Burmese refugee camp several years ago and I wanted to learn more about her story, her involvement with home visiting services provided by IRCO, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, and her hopes and dreams for the future. Many thanks to Mihaela Vladescu, the family’s home visitor with IRCO and Healthy Families Oregon, and Min Sein who provided...


The Impact of Early Childhood Education with Don Grotting

Don Grotting is the superintendent of the Beaverton School District. For more than 20 years, he has led school districts in rural and urban communities across Oregon. Grotting has received several awards and accolades for his work and leadership, including 2014 Oregon Superintendent of the Year from the American Association of School Administrators. He also sits on numerous boards and advisory committees, including the Governor’s Council on Education and Oregon’s State Board of Education....