© 2024 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rethinking preschool, protection for Ukrainians in the U.S., and stark realities of sea rise

The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church late February 2022
Courtesy Of The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church /
The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church late February 2022

A new preschool comes to South Florida, and maybe a new way of doing early education. A call for temporary protected status for Ukrainians. Plus, a new climate report paints a grim picture for South Florida. How are we preparing for what’s coming?

On this Tuesday, March 1 edition of Sundial:

Do we need to change preschool?

A new free play-based preschool is coming to South Florida.

Florida Atlantic University approved an agreement with Bezos Academy. It offers Montessori-inspired education for low-income communities. It’s a school backed by Jeff Bezos, the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, and it’s set to open this fall.

As the pandemic continues, you can rely on WLRN to keep you current on local news and information. Your support is what keeps WLRN strong. Please become a member today. Donate now. Thank you.

Joel Herbst, the superintendent and assistant dean for Pre-K-12 Schools and Educational Programs at FAU, joined Sundial to discuss the upcoming preschool.

We also discussed a recent study that indicates that we might need to rethink our approach to preschool and kids could benefit from play-based early education.

"Taking the study singularly provides some important information, but certainly not the silver bullet we would like," Herbst said.

He cautioned against generalizing. "One of the outcomes of the Bezos program is the opportunity to study these kids at a very young age and watch them across the continuum as they take off, as they go into their other classes."

03-01-2022 SUNDIAL SEG A FAU Preschool.mp3

A plea for the U.S. to extend Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians

More than half a million people have fled Ukraine since Russia started its invasion just a few days ago.

Many are still trying to flee their home country as the violence continues.

The United Nations predicts it to become “Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century.”

On Monday, two former federal immigration officials sent a letter to President Joe Biden, asking him to welcome displaced Ukrainians and grant them Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“This is a very, very niche special visa category to take care of people that are in dire need. You'd be hard pressed to take a Ukrainian college student whose visa expires tomorrow and expect them to fly home," said Emilio T. Gonzalez. He was one of the officials who signed the letter and was the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under former President George W. Bush.

"That's a simplistic definition, but that's what it was meant for. It was meant for these type of extreme circumstances where to send somebody in harm's way would just not be acceptable," he said.

You can hear the full conversation, below:

03-01-2022 SUNDIAL SEG B Ukranian TPS.mp3

Two environmental reports tackle sea rise and heat

There are two new major environmental reports out recently, and both of them paint a picture of the impacts on South Florida's due to climate change.

The first report — out from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA — shows us about sea rise and flooding and how we should prepare.

The report found: Sea level along the U.S. coastline is projected to rise, on average, 10-12 inches in the next 30 years. That's as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years, according to NOAA.

The other is a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also called the IPCC. And that one shows us more about how hot our planet is getting and what that means for us humans.

WLRN Environment Reporter Jenny Staletovich joined the program to help us better understand findings from both reports, and especially share her coverage of the latest from the IPCC.

"Miami-Dade County has a plan. The Army Corps is talking about spending billions of dollars on a back bay plan that would put up seawalls and floodgates. One of the things that this IPCC report stressed is that we need to make sure that those fixes are equitable," Staletovich said. "They actually use South Florida and Miami as an example of what they call 'green gentrification.' Where you go in and you make areas more resilient, you increase the property value and you can end up forcing out local residents."

03-01-2022 SUNDIAL SEG C Climate Change Report.mp3

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.