South Side Early Learning Offers Parenting Podcast

Tatyana Tandanpolie

South Side Early Learning’s new podcast, Circle Time, tackles the questions of new and first-time parents of children ages 5 and younger. Since the show premiered in mid-July, it has released eight 20- to 30-minute episodes on subjects such as race, kindergarten readiness and child brain development.

The podcast also features notable local guests, including Greater Columbus Arts Council President and CEO Tom Katzenmeyer and Laura Justice, distinguished professor of educational psychology at Ohio State University. Incorporating expert knowledge into playful and easy-to-understand conversations is what South Side Early Learning CEO Colin Page McGinnis says sets the show apart from traditional parenting blogs and books.

“I’m really hoping that we can be that trusted space where folks can ask their questions and know they’re going to get the answers that maybe aren’t from their friend,” he says. “Having almost that immediate access to experts in child development and experts in early childhood is something that we want to be able to provide through Circle Time.”

He and the nonprofit’s innovation team developed Circle Time from a panel discussion of the same name after parents and educators requested a consistent revival of the event. The show has been successful since its debut, says Page McGinnis: Each episode receives about 100 downloads in its first 24 hours online.

Listeners can stream the podcast on all major platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora. They can also stream it for free on the South Side Early Learning website. Page McGinnis hopes to receive more questions from parents that he and his guests can explore on upcoming episodes.

“If you don’t want to call Mom and say, ‘Hey, why does he keep taking his diaper off and running around the house? Is this normal? Will he grow out of it?’ [Circle Time] can be something that can be fun listening and [where] you can still get those questions answered,” he says.

For more on the podcast and South Side Early Learning, go to southsidelearning.org.

A shorter version of this story appears in “Parent Pulse” in our Winter 2020 issue.

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