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Critical parental role clear in “Voices of Youth”

August08/ 2011

Joan C. Eichner had the idea last year to create a short documentary film to capture creative ways parents promote learning in their kids, and how critical adults are in the learning process.


Eichner, children’s policy director for the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development, says the resulting 20-minute production depicts parents in their own words and shows just how much they contribute to the lives of their kids.


Called “Voices of Youth,” its three sections talk about early learning through relationships; about how important play is as a tool for exploring and trying to make sense of the world; and about parents’ hopes and dreams. The entire film can be seen here.


“Some people here have watched it and kind of gotten choked up,” Eichner says.


Parts filmed in two local child-care classrooms show kids’ socialization process, while early childhood experts from Carlow University and Pitt present research about how the brain develops.


Eichner hopes the film will help “to reinvigorate parents about their role.”


It was funded by a grant from the Grable and Pittsburgh foundations.


Writer: Marty Levine

Source: Joan C. Eichner, Office of Child Development