A Very Exciting Announcement

We are thrilled to announce the publication of a new book co-authored by our Executive Director Ken Jaffe and longtime ICRI supporter and partner Leslie Falconer, CEO of Mother Goose Time.  Ken and Leslie collaborated with many of ICRI's talented teachers and early childhood specialists to compile this tremendous resource.

The book is packed with ideas for creating stimulating, developmentally-appropriate learning experiences for young children using found objects or recycled materials.  What is most exciting is that the ideas in the book can be implemented around the world for little to no cost, even in areas where teachers and children currently lack access to basic learning materials.  Expect to hear more from ICRI in the coming months about Straw into Gold.  For now, here's the press release:

Straw into Gold Inspires the Joy in

Early Childhood Education

New Book Creates Activities and Areas which Utilize Found Objects or Recycled Materials


CONTACT:  Debbie Lemke

PHONE:  231-276-6302

EMAIL:  debbie@mothergoosetime.com

INTERLOCHEN, MI (October 28, 2010) – Often teachers and parents around the world lack the training or materials needed to provide stimulation, growth and development for young children.  Straw into Gold shows you how to use materials you already have and create activities which are intended to cost very little or nothing.  These activities allow educators, parents and volunteers the opportunity to provide enrichment and growth for children.

Over the past ten years, the co-authors, Ken Jaffe and Leslie Falconer, have collaborated on innovative early childhood development practices with early childhood professionals and various organizations and  have worked with children in less developed parts of the world.  According to Jaffe, “In Guayaquil, Ecuador we were fascinated by the amazing use of found objects which were transformed by energetic teachers and parents into meaningful children’s activities.”  This collaboration and observation, which extended into 30 countries, has evolved into Straw into Gold which provides the framework for these exciting, stimulating and developmentally appropriate activities.  Moreover, the book allows for the creation of activity areas that can be placed anywhere – from a classroom setting to an open space with a dirt floor.

According to Falconer, “Children learn best when they can move, touch and explore throughout the day.  Carefully designed activity areas allow children to develop important cognitive, social/emotional and physical skills.”  She went on to say that “this book is a beginning in the efforts to help children anywhere experience the joy of early childhood.”

Advance copies of Straw into Gold will be available at the NAEYC Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA November 3 – 6, 2010, where Mother Goose Time will exhibit in Booth 970.  Co-Author Leslie Falconer will be available for questions.  The book retails for $17.99.

About Ken Jaffe

Ken founded and continues to lead the International Child Resource Institute (ICRI).  ICRI, established in 1981 and having worked in 57 countries, is committed to improving the lives of children and families around the world. This is accomplished through technical assistance and consultation, resource dissemination, and the establishment of model projects.  Ken received his child development training at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and his Master’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where he conducted comparative research in international child care and development practices.  He earned a Juris Doctor degree in law, where he studied juvenile justice and children’s rights.  Ken is the author of numerous articles on international early childhood education, child advocacy, program management and family policy issues.  He has been a consultant to the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., and has advised the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Sweden and Ecuador on child and family issues.  Additional information about ICRI can be obtained at www.icrichild.org.

About Leslie Falconer

Leslie is the CEO of Mother Goose Time, a publishing company specializing in Preschool Resources and Curriculum.   After obtaining Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Education and German Literature, she began research and development for a new method for teaching financial literacy to young children which led to the creation of Financially Literate Youth (FLY).  Her model has been applied to a range of retail products.  She has co-produced over 15 children’s music CDs, and is author of the children’s book, The Great Mountain Hike. Through Mother Goose Time, she is working collaboratively with the Liberian Minister of Education and NGO Youth Action International to increase awareness and access to early childhood education throughout Western Africa.  More information on Mother Goose Time can be obtained at www.mothergoosetime.com.