PSU Infant/Toddler Mental Health program nets $110,000 for scholarships

The Ford Family Foundation has awarded PSU funding for 10 students in the Infant/Toddler Mental Health (ITMH) Graduate Certificate program. This grant will support recipients in rural Oregon who are working with families who have children ages 0–36 months and will increase capacity in infant mental health throughout Oregon.

Ford Family Foundation Program Officer Robin Hill-Dunbar said, “Providing access to coursework related to infant mental health in rural Oregon is critical. It is a pleasure to support students in the pursuit of the PSU graduate certificate and the Infant/Toddler Mental Health Endorsement. Our youngest ones and their caregivers are counting on those who serve them to understand and be able to best support their complex and unique needs.”

The project is led by Professor Ingrid Anderson, who has over 25 years of experience administering early childhood programs locally and regionally. Faculty who teach in the program are practitioners in social work, migrant head start, early learning hubs, parent education, and research. Continue reading

$1.5 million grant approved for Pell-eligible student families in PSU campus child care

Larissa Manning retrieves her daughter, Sage, after a busy day at Helen Gordon Child Development Center. The new CCAMPIS grant helps student parents like Manning with childcare funds so she can continue her studies at PSU.

Early Childhood Professor Will Parnell and Helen Gordon Child Development Center Director Ellie Justice announced the awarding of a fourth $1.5 million federal grant to support the 2018–22 Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program. Stipulating strong connections with the master’s degree program in early childhood and an accredited full-day early childhood program, this grant offers low-income student families subsidies to the Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC). The new four-year award prioritizes support for student families eligible for Pell Grants; it covers up to 50 percent of child care tuition.

The grant also funds HGCDC teaching positions, classroom and program enhancements, and graduate assistantships to formally connect the early childhood master’s program and early childhood research activities with classroom practices. Continue reading

GSE faculty member John Nimmo generates global early childhood documentary

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What is a right? What rights do children have in their schools, families and communities? And most importantly, What are the rights young children believe they should have in order to reach their full potential and participate in their community? These are the questions early childhood Professor John Nimmo pondered as he embarked on a film project entitled “Voices of Children,” for the World Forum Foundation (WFF).

John Nimmo, assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, is working with a team of multinational educators to discover the central values of our youngest global citizens –ages birth to eight years old. He is a member of the Working Initiative on Children’s Rights, for the WFF, an international consortium of educators working to improve the lives of young children around the world.

Nimmo’s global committee of early childhood educators and videographers sought to establish the voice of children in a documentary that would help adults understand the point of view of children. The group wondered what children actually knew about their rights. How did they feel about their place in society? And what was truly important to them?

For Nimmo, it was a unique chance to work with early childhood professionals from around the world. “What would it look like for videographers and social scientists from Brazil to come together with educators from the United States and Singapore and come to India and think about not only how we listen and how we speak about rights but also how we document them and make them visible?” said Nimmo, who has spent 30+ years working in early childhood education in multiple countries and cultures. “In the process, our goal was to unpack the typically Western and individualistic concept of rights and develop a more complex and culturally inclusive understanding.” Continue reading

Associate Professor Will Parnell publishes book on school readiness

Parnell_pubThe world is changing rapidly, both outside and inside the classroom. Early childhood educators have new challenges every day that provide opportunities to rethink and reimagine approaches to conventional early childhood instruction. In a new volume, co-edited by professors Will Parnell (Curriculum and Instruction) and Jeanne Marie Iorio, a total of 27 early childhood experts from across the United States, Canada, and Australia (as well as Parnell and Iorio) offer insight and innovative practices for working with the youngest students. The book, Rethinking Readiness in Early Childhood Education: Implications for Policy and Practice, is part of Bloch and Swadener’s Critical Cultural Studies of Childhood series.

“The current early childhood readiness discourse positions the child and family as deficit,” said Parnell. “Focused on rethinking readiness, our text opens doors to seeing what is possible when the experiences of children and families from across the world are honored and central to policy and educational decision making.”

Continue reading

Alumna profile: Mary Ann Anderson—early childhood education matters

MaryAnnAnderson_Photo_072914Mary Ann Anderson (BS ’73, MS ’75) has a lifelong passion for early childhood education and believes that it is the key to a community’s future.

According to Ms. Anderson, a substantial and compelling body of research agrees that early education programs have positive long-term effects on children’s school performance, educational attainment, and adult earnings. In other words, she believes that early childhood education is an investment in our future economic growth, which more than offsets its cost. She says, “The majority of neurons are developed between birth and age three, when the brain’s peak capacity retains new information. Eighty-five percent of who you are—your intellect, your personality, your social skills, is developed by age five. If we can provide quality education for young children before the age of five, the long-term positive results are simply overwhelming.” Continue reading