Welcome Letter from Megan Kamerick

Welcome to the debut of our 4th season of Public Square, where civic dialogue takes center stage. We continue our focus on one of New Mexico’s most important issues: How to improve conditions for our vulnerable children.

PSq 401 Improving ChildWell-Being

Our first program, broadcast on October 30 at 8 p.m., tackles this critical issue head on. I invite you to see how families, community organizations, and state leadership engage in a very candid and challenging conversation about how we can improve child-well being in the Land of Enchantment.

Public Square Host Megan Kamerick interviwews NM Senator John Sapien (D)

We do considerable research on our topics and thought you would appreciate seeing some of the key information we have found. Over the years New Mexico has had consistently low rankings for child well being according to research done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and found in their Kids Count report. In 2014 New Mexico was ranked 49th up from 50th last year. Here is a link to the report: http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-2014kidscountdatabook-2014.pdf.

One study we discuss in our program was done by Kay Johnson of Johnson Group Consulting under contract to the Department of Health. That report, Serving New Mexico’s Young Children: Recommendations and Opportunities, was presented to the New Mexico Children’s Cabinet on June 11, 2014. This informative report can be seen here: http://bit.ly/11EmKe6

Bill Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor, NM Voices for Children speaks with Jennifer Padgett, Deputy Secretary, Children Youth and Families Dept.

I also invite you to participate in the conversation on our feedback section on this page. Please share your insights as to how best solve this problem. We also encourage you to share your thoughts about this program and potential topics for future programs. So join the conversation right here.

Also on this page you will find information about our participants and community partners. Each program we work closely with a community group who becomes part of the production process. This community producer helps us determine topics for programs, the approach to topics, and help identify potential participants. They are invaluable in providing accuracy and depth to the Public Square programs.

Public Square Improving Child Well-Being Participants

Stay tuned for our next program which looks closely at the promise of early childhood education as we consider universal Pre-Kindergarten, also called preschool. Please check our archive of previous Public Square programs many of which are very relevant to the issues we are currently discussing.

Please join the conversation and share your voice!

Megan Kamerick
Producer & Host