Feb. State of Education Explores Effective Early Childhood Education

News Release Date: 
February 5, 2014

For Immediate Release

Ready for Kindergarten: The Impact of Early Childhood Education is Topic of Feb. 20 ‘State of Education in Nebraska’ on NET Television

LINCOLN, Neb. (Feb. 5, 2014) -- Exploring the qualities and impact of effective early childhood education, and how to provide these resources to at-risk children, will be the focus of the February “State of Education in Nebraska” on NET Television. “Ready for Kindergarten: The Impact of Early Childhood Education” will premiere on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. CT, repeating Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. CT on NET2 World.

The program looks at the importance of the first five years of a child’s life in determining the long-term learning path -- whether that child will succeed and graduate from high school or struggle and fall behind throughout his or her school career. Airing as part of NET’s “State of Education in Nebraska” series, the program was produced by Nebraska Loves Public Schools (NElovesPS), an initiative funded by the Sherwood Foundation to build pride in Nebraska’s public schools.

Educators and parents are featured in the film, which considers the role of proper family support and of access to resources in developing early learning. Children from at-risk backgrounds can fall dangerously behind their more affluent peers before even stepping foot in the kindergarten classroom. 

“High-quality early childhood education brings children who are considered at risk of not having a good school experience to a level where they have much better odds,” said Julia Dadds, executive director of Educare of Lincoln. “They have higher education attainments in terms of college, they tend to not be involved in the criminal justice system, and they tend to not have to repeat grades. They actually marry at a higher rate, which means they're having families and becoming community members. All of these things are great news for us as citizens, to know that this kind of investment yields this kind of result for us as a community.”

Dadds and other educational and civic leaders are featured in the program, including State Sen. John Harms, District 48; Dr. Samuel Meisels, founding executive director of the University of Nebraska’s Buffett Early Childhood Institute; Jessie Rasmussen, president of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund; and Amy Bornemeier, associate vice president of Early Childhood Programs at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Educators from Crete Public Schools also play an important part in the documentary, including Superintendent of Crete Public Schools Kyle McGowan, as well as Decua Jean-Baptiste, principal of Franklin Elementary School in Omaha, and Dr. Bob Ripp, director of the Lexington Early Learning Academy. Parents and other respected educators from across the state are also part of the program.

The “State of Education in Nebraska” series is in the second year of a two-year collaborative effort between NET Learning Services and its partners, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, Nebraska Loves Public Schools and First Five Nebraska. Programs in the series have been produced by NET and Nebraska Loves Public Schools.

For more information, visit netNebraska.org/stateofed to view previous programs and find resources.

NET2 World is part of NET Television, a service of NET. For a complete program schedule, visit NET’s website (netNebraska.org/television).

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CONTACTS: Gary Targoff, NET Assistant General Manager, Education, 402-470-6268 or gtargoff@netNebraska.org, or Marthaellen Florence, NET Director of Community Engagement and Educational Outreach, 402-470-6603 or mflorence@netNebraska.org

 RELEASE WRITTEN BY: Gary Brienzo, 402-470-6578, or email at gbrienzo@netNebraska.org

NET Television: NET1 is Nebraska's first public television broadcast service and includes PBS and award-winning, locally produced public television programming; NET2 World offers live coverage of the Nebraska Unicameral, and other news and public affairs programming; NET3 Create is a 24-hour channel featuring the most popular how-to, travel and lifestyle series.

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About NElovesPS: Since 2011, the Nebraska Loves Public Schools (NElovesPS) campaign has been documenting the positive stories happening in public schools across Nebraska. NElovesPS -- a 2013 Webby Awards Official Honoree -- produces a series of mini-documentaries that explore a range of issues with the goal of raising awareness about Nebraska's public schools. Nebraska Loves Public Schools is funded by the Sherwood Foundation. To learn more visitnelovesps.org, or follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/nelovesps) or Twitter (@nelovesps).