Quality Early Learning Radio Show Builds Following of Young Families

image1 (3)DUBOIS, Pa. (EYT) – A new Quality Early Learning radio show is building listeners across Pennsylvania and beyond thanks to a strong roster of child development experts appearing as guests on the show.

The program is part of the “Ask the Expert” series broadcast by News Talk Radio WCED in DuBois that airs every other Friday morning at 9:05 am on 1420 AM and 96.7 FM in the DuBois area, and simulcasts online at www.wcedradio.com. It is sponsored by the Erie-based Northwest Institute of Research and the Northwest Regional Key (NWRK) to Quality Early Learning.

The show, co-hosted by John Pozza of Brookville and Joe Taylor of Sligo, was launched in September when an opening on WCED’s “Ask the Expert” program schedule came available. It provided an opportunity for Pozza, NWRK’s community partner specialist, to do a program on a subject he has a passionate for but felt needed to reach a wider audience. Its mission is to spread the word on the importance of quality early childhood education in getting children prepared for success in school and in life. The program demonstrates how families, communities, schools, and business each play a vital role in making sure children are prepared for school, as children have a direct impact on our current and future workforce and economy.

The Northwest Regional Key, one of five regional keys in the state under the Pennsylvania Keys to Quality Early Learning and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), collaborates with regional early learning partners in 22 counties, including, Clarion, to support positive outcomes for children. The keys provide professional development and administer the Keystone STARS Quality Rating Improvement System for early learning practitioners. Locally, Christine Koss serves as the STARS manager for practitioners in Clarion, Jefferson, Armstrong and Indiana counties.

“Over 40 years of research has proven that 90 percent of brain development occurs before the age of 5,” Pozza said. “Children not participating in early learning and preschool before entering kindergarten can often fall behind those that do. And when children are not prepared for school and begin to fail academically, a host of other problems can occur, including behavioral issues, delinquency and drug use.”

Pozza and Taylor are no strangers to broadcasting. Pozza previously worked in radio and television news in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, NJ, and Morgantown and Charleston, WV. He still moonlights by doing freelance voiceovers for local radio stations of local council and school board meetings. Taylor, while semi-retired, still keeps active by hosting the weekly Contact public affairs show on WCED and shares the same responsibility with Pozza on their current Ask the Expert series. Taylor has managed several radio stations over his career, and was an on-air host and news broadcaster at stations in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Rochester, NY.

Before they knew one another, they were surprised to learn they both worked at the former News Talk 1210 WCAU in Philadelphia at different times in their careers. The radio station has since changed its call letters and is now known as1210 WPHT “The Big Talker.”

Scheduled guests on their Quality Early Learning show in December include Dr. Barb Minzenberg, deputy secretary of OCDEL, who will be on the Dec. 12 program. Dr. Minzenberg will discuss PA’s $52 million federal Race to the Top Challenge. On Dec. 26, the show will feature Kurt Kondrich, chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Early Intervention. Kurt will share a
personal heart warming Christmas story involving his daughter Chloe, who has Down’s Syndrome. Chloe’s remarkable success following early intervention is something parents of young children with special needs will want to hear about.

In January, the show welcomes William Isler, president of the Fred Rogers Company, and Dr. Daniel Gartrell, a child development researcher at Bemidji State University.

Listeners that miss any of the bi-weekly broadcasts can still hear each program on podcasts. Following each broadcast, the show is downloaded as an audio file on both the NWRK and PA Promise for Children websites at www.nwregionalkey.org and www.papromiseforchildren.com.

Pozza also does presentations to schools, businesses and community organizations on the economic impact of quality learning. As part of the presentation, the latest reach and risk school, county and state demographic data is shared. If your organization is interested in hosting a presentation, you can contact John at 814-648-0578 tel:814-648-0578 or email johnp@nwirkey.org.

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