WXXI AM News

childhood education

summermealsroc.org

The Summer Meals Roc expects to give out about 5,000 free cold meals every day this summer to kids under 18 in the city of Rochester, no questions asked. That adds up to more than 300,000 meals between now and September.

“(There are) roughly 21 or 22,000 students who do access their meals through school if you think about the summer months; that becomes potentially a burden for families,” said Aaron Lattanzio who coordinates the program.

The Gates Public Library and the Westside Family YMCA have partnered to offer a new preschool program for children in the district. Gates Chili does offer university pre-K, but based on a lottery system. In the three years prior to this school year, the district was unable to accommodate every family that requested preschool. That changed in the 2017-2018 school year, after the district worked to expand its program.

Both efforts emphasize the value education and childcare leaders place on early childhood education. This hour, we discuss learning outcomes for young children who attend preschool programs, and the accessibility of those programs in our area. Our guests:

The New York State Board of Regents named its "Teacher of the Year," and the winner is from our area.

Christopher Albrecht is a fourth grade teacher in the Brockport Central School District. We talk to him about his career, and his thoughts on the future of education and the teaching profession.

Are American children suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder? That term has gained currency over the past decade, and a number of local parents and professionals feel it's on the mark. So what is it? Broadly speaking, it's a deficit from interaction with the outside world. 

Our guests go beyond that simple definition to discuss how education plays a role. In studio:

  • Lindsay Cray, CEO of Earthworks Institute
  • Evan Lowenstein, communications and special events/projects coordinator for the City of Rochester Public Market
  • Amy Jeary, director and teacher at Wren's Nest Waldorf Preschool
  • Jen Green, Ph.D. student in teaching and curriculum at the University of Rochester

Over the past 15 years, the number of Monroe County children benefiting from child care subsidies has fallen substantially. Today, we take a look at what that means from a business standpoint. It might seem crude, but it turns out there's a direct relationship between child care funding and the success of the local business community.

That subject is the specialty of Rob Grunewald, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He's in Rochester as a guest speaker, and he's one of our guests on Connections:

More than half of Rochester's children live in poverty, and Rochester ranks No. 1 in child poverty rates among cities in comparably sized metro areas. The Urban Institute finds that Rochester is in the top 10, nationally, among cities for black-white disparity in employment and homeownership.

What is going to change those numbers? We examine several programs aimed at helping at-risk youth get their first job, keep that job, and graduate from school. Our guests:

The school year is quickly coming to an end, which means students of all ages will spend months outside of classrooms and formal instruction. Experts say summer learning loss can contribute to gaps in student achievement, especially in low income communities. So what can parents and caregivers do to help close the gap? Our guests: