Education documentary to be shown at WSCC

The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development is getting the word out about the importance of pre-kindergarten education, with a free screening of the documentary “No Small Matter.”

George Goddard, the assistant division director for COAD, said the film promotes the same message as his nonprofit organization.

“It’s about the importance of quality early childhood learning,” he said.

The film was produced in 2017 by Kindling Group, a documentary production company based out of Chicago, and focuses on the importance of pre-kindergarten education. In a press release, Kindling Group says the film not only shows success stories of children who have had quality early education, but how a lack of it has caused an everyday crisis for American families.

The release goes on to say that in 33 states, child care costs as much as sending a person to a state college, while only 10 percent of those providers are considered high quality. With parents having to work, children still require day care, regardless of the educational quality of the facility. This puts the children at risk of falling behind when their brains are developing the most.

Goddard said the growth rate of the brain of a child under 5 is happening at an incredible rate.

“The neurons in their brains are making about 1 million connections a second,” he said.

During this stage of development, Goddard said that children are sponges, absorbing information and learning from their interactions with the world around them.

Jennifer Loman, regional coordinator for COAD, said there is one method of teaching young children that trumps the rest.

“The best way they are going to learn is through interacting with an adult,” she said.

She said using other methods like flash cards or learning programs on computers can’t compete with a child spending time with an attentive adult caregiver. Loman said the film gives examples of how important the first five years of life are in the development of the brain.

Goddard said his organization is dedicated to giving people advice on how to focus their efforts on education and if needed, give access to child care providers who will engage the children in a learning environment. But for some people in the county, finding qualified educational day care could be a problem.

“There’s a major shortage of infant and toddler care in the county,” Loman said.

Loman said there are currently 21 licensed child care centers and family child care homes in the county, but there are still waiting lists for the youngest of children.

Goddard said COAD is trying to increase the availability of child care by guiding prospective care providers through the hurdles of business start-up and licensing requirements. He said they will even give on-site training to any child care provider to help them make sure they are providing an environment that promotes learning.

Goddard said he hopes people who see the film at Washington State Community College’s Graham Auditorium will understand the importance of the issue of early education. He continued by saying that COAD and the film are meant for anyone that watches over a young child.

“Grandparents, parents, day care providers, anyone who cares for a child will benefit…Once you see it, you won’t forget it,” he said. “You will still be talking about it days after.”

Loman said admission to the screening of the movie is free with doors opening at 5:30 p.m., and a start time of 6 p.m. She also said there will be a question and answer session after the screening for interested individuals.

For more information about the film, finding qualified day care or how to become a day care provider, visit COAD’s website at coad4kids.org or call 740-373-6996.

If you go

•What: Screening of documentary film “No Small Matter” sponsored by the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development.

•Where: Washington State Community College’s Graham Auditorium.

•When: March 7, doors open at 5:30 p.m., movie starts at 6 p.m., with Q&A after the film.

•Cost: Free to public.

• For information: Visit coad4kids.org or call 740-373-6996.

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