These books have inspired, informed, and fostered a deeper committment to the work of our closest collaborators in 2018. We are pleased to share them with you and hope they will be read profitably wherever your summer vacation takes you!
"Early childhood educators and caregivers overall are among the most “future-proof” occupations (in that they are at lower risk to have significant number of tasks automated in the near future). Technology and AI will impact how we deliver learning and will allow us to automate rote tasks, but the uniquely human skills involved in caring for people will remain marketable."
Molly G. Martin is the director of New America Indianapolis — a National Network hub launched in 2017 to focus on the innovative grassroots solutions Hoosiers are developing to make the Circle City more livable, resilient, and equitable. Prior to joining New America, Martin spent ten years at Lumina Foundation and previously worked in higher education student affairs.
Those of us who concern ourselves with the well-being, growth, and healthy development of children, as well as all of us bearing some responsibility for the systems that support children, should begin today to prepare the way for a future in which caregiving is both essentially and pragmatically a human endeavour.
If the modern university is neither hospitable to the life of the mind nor consistently helping students achieve the American Dream while saddling them with an average monthly student loan payment of $393 then what’s the university all about?
"If you want to predict the future look to our future leaders - what issues they care about, what resonates with them, what projects are they working on."
Matthew Rascoff leads Learning Innovation at Duke University. He previously founded and led Learning Technology & Innovation for the University of North Carolina system. Before UNC, Matthew worked as an advisor to education foundations and launched Amplify’s product development center in Durham, NC. After undergraduate studies at Columbia University he did graduate work at Bogazici University in Istanbul on a Fulbright Scholarship. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Matthew serves on Capita’s Advisory Board.
"I love the explosion of efforts to convey the message that what young children need most is simply people who love and care for them."
Sara Watson is the Global Director of ReadyNation, a business membership group that supports executives to promote public and private investments that help build the future workforce. They work on issues from early childhood through young adulthood. This fall they sponsor their twelfth Global Business Summit on Early Childhood, November 1–2 in New York City.
Throwing open the doors of theatre for a community’s youngest children is the type of strategy Capita is using to help leaders in the arts — but also in community development, business, civic life, and education — to develop new ways to incorporate children into every public setting.
“Flourishing” functions as a corrective to thinking about issues like high-quality early childhood education solely in terms of return on investment. The outcomes we aim to support are much deeper and broader that just those outcomes that produce better students to result in more economically productive adults.
The past is a great, and often neglected, source of innovation, renewal, and transformation. May we not be the cause of forgetting.
"Children are watching you as much as they are listening to you, and that there’s no substitute for presence. In many ways, young children naturally possess some of the qualities we work harder to cultivate as adults — undivided attention and presence."
Alison Umminger is an Associate Professor of English at the University of West Georgia where she has taught since 2004. She teaches creative writing and was the President of the Harvard Lampoon as an undergraduate. Her first novel, American Girls, was published in 2016. In recent years, Alison has maintained a keen interest in monastic and contemplative spirituality which she has incorporated into her classroom practice.
Capita welcomes Tich Changamire of Louisville, Kentucky, Jessica (Jess) Schumer of Long Beach, California, and Jessica H. Derrick of Charleston, South Carolina. Jessica, Tich, and Jess have boundless energy, professional expertise, and a commitment to innovation that they are willing to lend to improving outcomes for America’s children and families.
"Ritual is life! I am eager to see how ritual affects children’s play: how it can be structured and unstructured; how children can play the same game over and over again and yet it is always new and fresh; and how play-as-ritual can helps us to understand “play” as vital a component to human development and socialization."
Kantara Souffrant is the Manager of School and Teacher Programs at the Milwaukee Art Museum, a performance artist, and an embodied storyteller. Kantara uses dance, movement, personal narrative and folds stories from Haiti and the larger African diaspora to create performances about immigration, family, and what it means to be part of a local and global community. She has a Ph.D. in performance studies from Northwestern University, an MA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College.
Living Labs provide the opportunity for end-users to do more than answer other people’s questions: they allow the beneficiaries of early childhood systems and services to be the ones asking the questions that will move us all forward.
Intersectional innovation that transcends the boundaries of existing systems can help us realize the promise of flourishing and the good life for more and more of our youngest children. Their flourishing today will pave the way to flourishing for all of us tomorrow.