Back to School!


This week over on our KIT internal social network we are sharing back-to-school pics of our kids (man, they are cute!). From littles starting their first child care experiences to teens starting college, to Janet heading back to K State to continue her program in instructional design, we are deep in back-to-school mode. This time of year reflects a shift for our KIT learners as well, as they move from summer camp programs to before and afterschool and teachers head back to the classroom. We see this transition reflected in who, how and what we train too. Here are a couple of recent events:

Playworks is a national organization that helps schools and districts make the most of recess. We’ve been working with them for a while (we love Playworks!) and these folks are getting ready to head back to the schoolyard in North Carolina. Our training (this time delivered by Kat, pictured center) helps them consider children of all abilities in their school recess programs. Playworks helps schools make sure that this valuable part of the school day is not wasted as an opportunity to help kids develop important social-emotional, leadership, and conflict resolution skills.

Alissa shared this great capture from training she did this week in Baltimore with another longtime partner, Child Care Aware of America. I doubt they expected to laugh this hard when they showed up for work that morning, but I bet it led to a deeper and more memorable learning experience for them! Emotions are deeply connected to learning, attention, memory, problem-solving and reasoning.

Speaking of feeling, a couple of weeks ago I saw the new documentary about Mr. Rogers called Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I highly recommend this film as an excellent way to spend a couple of hours that will stay with you for weeks afterward. Being right in the relevant age group, Mr. Rogers was a significant part of my childhood. My mom still quotes Mr. Rogers to me when I bring her a problem or something I am dealing with as an adult. But, even you weren’t a fan of Mr. Rogers and his Neighborhood of Make-Believe, I still think you will enjoy the film.  Mr. Rogers was an innovator in how he saw early on that he could use the new medium of television to help millions of children develop positive and healthy self-concepts (an early scalable social enterprise!). He wasn’t afraid to tackle difficult issues and he exhibited great respect for children in doing so. There is a beautiful clip in the movie about a segment he did on his show where he introduced a boy who used a wheelchair due to his disability. This clip is from 1981- almost a decade before the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. Mr. Rogers used his television show to help children understand people who may seem different from them in some ways but were of value and worthy of being loved and respected for who they are. This segment of the Mr. Rogers television show turned into a children’s book that we had on the KIT library bookshelf for years. Check out the clip (by clicking on the photo below). It might be the best seven minutes of your day today.

In the spirit of Mr. Rogers, I will leave you with this thought…

See you next Friday!