Welcome to Episode 90 of the Adventures with Grammy Podcast. Today’s guest is Paul Entrekin.
For most of his adult life, Paul’s feet have been off the ground and in the air flying from one destination to another — sometimes upside down — sometimes at warp speed.
A retired US Marine, naval aviator and Delta Airline captain, Paul primarily is known today as an acrobatic pilot who owns and flies a Russian MIG 15 fighter jet in airshows across North America.
The role he cherishes is grandpa. Today we will discuss his first children’s book, Jasper and the Christmas Faeries, a book co-written with his wife, Lisa, but inspired by his youngest grandchild and only grandson.
Focusing on early childhood development is vital for children and for our society. Research has demonstrated facilitating low-stress/high-engagement environments at the earliest ages builds strong, confident learners, who as adults, make up the backbone of a successful society. America’s failure to make early childhood development one of our highest priorities is the reason our nation has shown a steady decline in numerous important areas relative to other countries. Today’s guest, Dr. Rick Allen, has written Great by Eight, a bold call-to-action that demands intense emphasis on the development of young children, in particular from birth to age three, and continuing through age eight. By investing in early childhood development now, and over the long-term, we can become a far stronger and more unified nation. Great by Eight provides experienced insights on how we can get there. Drawing on nearly thirty years in public administration, extensive work in early childhood program design, and an abundance of emerging research, Dr. Allen sheds light on the remarkable power of early childhood development. He illustrates how parents, caregivers, teachers, community-activists, corporate executives, community-based nonprofit leaders, and forward-thinking policymakers can work together to cut social costs, create a stronger workforce, boost local economic development efforts, and improve our faltering international competitiveness. He clearly demonstrates that most children, given the right environment and support very early in life, can evolve into successful, contributive, and happy adults.
In 2001, the University of Washington Tacoma School of Business in association with the Business Examiner News Group named Dr. Allen as a Business Leader of the Year in Pierce County, Washington. The Washington Association for the Education of Young Children recognized him as one of the state’s outstanding community-based advocates for children.
He was president and CEO of United Way of Pierce County, Washington, a community approaching one million, for more than twenty years. Before that he served eight years as director of the Pierce County Community Action Agency, working predominantly with families in distress. Dr. Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Washington University, a master’s degree in interpersonal communication from Ohio University, and both a master’s and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California.
Please join me in extending a hearty welcome to Dr. Rick Allen to the Adventures with Grammy Podcast.
Rick, I love your book. You have written a no-nonsense guide to ensuring children receive the love and nurturing they deserve. Reading Great by Eight should be a high priority for every adult.
Your academic and professional credentials are impeccable. What I didn’t mention is that you also have life experiences that the average person can relate to such as bailing hay on an Eastern Washington farm, working as a dishwasher and night janitor in a large restaurant, laying railroad track in central Oregon, working construction jobs in Pullman, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho, and serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam era. What led to your focus on the importance of early childhood years?
Michelle Booth is the founder and CEO of Make Momentos, LLC, a tech startup whose mission is to offer adults an easy-to-use platform to create keepsake e-books for the children in their lives.
Booth has been helping people tell their stories for more than 25 years. She has experience ghostwriting nonfiction manuscripts for a variety of clients including a former White House staffer in the Nixon and Ford administrations, prominent businesspeople and retirees wanting to preserve their stories for future generations.
Booth was selected to edit the memoir of a former NBA basketball player. She has written profiles on a state senator and a winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” for Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Magazine and was a regular contributor to the publication.
Prior to her work in the publishing industry, she worked with companies in a variety of industries on their strategic marketing efforts.
Booth relocated to South Florida with her husband in 2012. She founded Make Momentos, LLC in 2021. Her vision for the company is an extension of the work she does as a ghostwriter: to connect families through the power of storytelling.
Russ Wrightson is a homeschooling dad of two boys ages 12 and 14. He says his boys are excited to learn from anything that crosses their paths, including videos, board games and a math book or two.
To help facilitate a homeschooling atmosphere Russ considers healthy, he organized a local secular homeschool group he describes as a club. He also serves on the Board of Directors for VAhomeschoolers.org, an inclusive statewide organization that advocates and supports at the state level.
Our guest today is Eddy Smits, a former professional clown, who hails from Belgium. He says authentic communication with children would heal society’s woes and enable children to grow into adults who could face any challenge and be effective world leaders. That statement reminded me of advice I received when my oldest child, Craig, was a toddler. A very wise person told me the qualities we admire in adults are not qualities we admire when children exhibit those same behaviors. That statement stopped me cold and helped shape my philosophy of raising children. Please join me as Eddy and I discuss how his volunteer work as a hospital clown shaped his philosophy of communicating with children.