The communication workshop Rain Barrel organized last week in Barranquilla, Colombia, for the Universidad del Norte's excellent Pisotón early childhood development program, went extremely well!
For the past 16 years, the Pisotón team of psychologists and educators has been working with parents, educators, social workers and policymakers in Colombia and several other countries to apply cutting edge knowledge to the care and education of children during the first six years of life, with an emphasis on social and emotional development. Rain Barrel's consultancy is aimed at helping them strengthen their communication strategy and creative materials for children, caregivers and educators.
We were fortunate to have a team of absolutely marvelous international experts to share best practices in quality media for young children, as well as cutting edge C4D theory and practice.
We worked with senior colleagues from Uninorte's departments of psychology, education and social communication to review the 16-year old program's communication materials (story books, videos, games, etc) -- through the prism of UNICEF's state-of-the-art Communicating with Children approach, among others; explored ways to strengthen the program's research, M& E components; drafted briefs for 30-second TV spots (a creative exercise) and brainstormed about ways to grow the program and share its materials and methodologies with other countries.
Special thanks to Pisotón director Ana Rita Russo; Rafael Obregon, UNICEF's C4D Chief; Silvia Lovato, Director PBSKids Digital; Angelica Ponguta, ECD expert and researcher, Yale University; Jesus Arroyave, Director of Uninorte's Department of Social Communication; and Sesame Workshop's Regional Director Jorge Baxter and Carolina Casas, Plaza Sesamo chief of research, education and community outreach.
I'll be returning in late November with Brazilian quality media for children expert Beth Carmona -- Director of Singular Midia and the Sao Paulo ComKids Festival -- to work with the Pisotón team on a followup strategy.
Let me end by saying that this very exciting project would not have been possible if it weren't for the pioneering CwC work of Barb Kolucki and the UNICEF C4D team led by Rina Gill. Sincere thanks, dear sisters!