Early Education Program to be Featured on PBS Series

Academy and Emmy award-winning producers Dale Bell and Harry Wiland were at UC Riverside this month filming for a new documentary series on programs that close the achievement gap and can be replicated in other communities.

They are highlighting Project Moving Forward, a vocabulary and English language development program for young children developed by Linda Navarrette in the Graduate School of Education. The program started in Moreno Valley Unified School District and is now used in more than 100 schools in seven states. The program has evidence of closing the achievement gap.

Bell and Wiland, of the Media Policy Center, are traveling the country filming for a four-part documentary called “Our Kids” that will air on PBS in late 2018. The film is based on the best-selling book by Harvard professor Robert Putnam and will examine the widening opportunity gap between rich and poor students, and what communities can do to narrow the gap — from early learning programs, to juvenile justice reform, to apprenticeship programs in the tech industry.

Riverside is one of about a dozen communities across the U.S. that is being featured because it is implementing programs to support its diverse population.

“What is happening is an integrated group effort to bring new ideas to the table to narrow the gap. Other communities can learn much from Riverside,” Wiland said.
Other Riverside programs that were filmed include the Riverside Police Foundation’s Youth Judo Club, the Riverside County Office of Education’s Come Back Kids Charter, Kids in Konflict, and SmartRiverside’s digital inclusion initiatives. The filming in Riverside was proposed and supported by Former Mayor Ronald Loveridge, who is the director of the UCR Center for Sustainable Suburban Development and Riverside.

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