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Children’s Institute works with over 200 early childhood classrooms in the Rochester City School District through our RECAP program. One aspect of RECAP is training and classroom program observations for three- and four-year-old students in EPK and UPK classrooms using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, Third Edition (ECERS-3) to measure program quality. ECERS-3 is a comprehensive tool outlining requirements for best practices in early childhood classrooms.

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Todd A. Savage, Ph.D., NCSP 

Heinous acts of racism caught on camera as well as the recent deaths of unarmed black persons – including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd – by current or former law enforcement officers have shaken the country. While to some it may appear as though racist acts have proliferated as of late, persons of color know differently: the racism that has always been there is being captured in ways not possible prior to the past decade. As the actor, Will Smith, has said, “Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.”

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The Center for Continuous Improvement (CCI) is a newly-created area within Children’s Institute, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the University of Rochester. Throughout Children’s Institute's 60-year history of research and programming to support children's social-emotional development and well-being, it has demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement. This commitment  is strengthened through the dedication of staff and resources with a clear focus on identifying, developing, and promoting effective ongoing assessment practices that result in providing children and families with the best evidence supported services possible.

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Can you describe your role at Children’s Institute and how the work that you do supports the whole child – socially, emotionally, and physically?

I’ve had several roles at Children’s Institute starting way back in the early 1990s when we were still Primary Mental Health Project and housed on Mt. Hope Avenue. Over the years I have been part of study teams investigating the long term efficacy of prevention programs and the impact of a wide range of interventions. I spent about 10 years as a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital where I broadened my understanding of community health and how it affects children's well-being.

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