Glad to hear collaboration is happening to improve the education of children in our area. As we look at how to re-vitalize Rochester, let’s ask more questions and seek better answers.
• Should income inequality in the United States be a matter of great public concern? Yes. Inequality of the type we’re experiencing now directly threatens our democratic institutions and values. Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty, French Economist.
• What is the best US return on investment? Early childhood education! Source: Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Economist, University of Chicago, Chautauqua Institute series.
• What do young children need to learn before they enter elementary school? Seven Essential Life Skills: Focus & Self Control, Perspective Taking, Communications, Making Connections, Critical Thinking, Taking on Challenges, Being a Self-Directed Learner. Source: Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky, Work/Family Institute.
• How do children learn? Experts find that boys tend to learn best through movement and touch, while girls learn most effectively by talking and listening. Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner.
• What intelligence can we develop in children that will give them a superior advantage in the workforce? Emotional Intelligence. Source: Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.
• Could educational and income inequality have been prevented in Rochester? Yes. Many cities in the US merged their city and county school systems years ago, saving their cities from rotting at their core, and enabling a strong regional economy to thrive. Source: Hope and despair in the American city, Why there are no bad schools in Raleigh, Gerald Grant, Syracuse University Professor of Education and Sociology.
• What do we know about poverty and how to intervene? The two highest correlations with poverty are family structure and the level of educational attainment. Focus on enhancing the education of mothers and promote an increase in education for young females. Teach story structure and formal language to instill the concept of consequences. Source: What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty, Bill Ehlig and Ruby K. Payne.
• In what forums are these questions being asked? The Mayor’s Early Learning Council? The Presbyterian fact finding trip to Raleigh supported by the Rochester Community Foundation? The University of Rochester’s initiatives for East High School? Fairport United Methodist and Fairport American Association of University Women’s forums on Poverty?
My gift in this space is a wide-open forum. Join us for the free “Annie” interactive outdoor movie event for the whole family on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 1100 Ayrault Road, Fairport NY 14450 (rain date 8/27). A costume parade kicks off the fun at 8:00pm, so be sure to come dressed as your favorite character and be ready to sing-along with Little Orphan Annie. If able, please bring a new or gently used children’s book and/or backpack to be donated to a Rochester city school student.
Pamela Barrett Spiteri, Director, Drama Kids International of Rochester
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