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Community Focus Report: Early Childhood investments show results, but challenges remain

Springfield Public Schools

This broadcast season, KSMU’s program "Making a Difference" is switching gears. Through a series of panel conversations airing once every month, we examine each chapter of The 2021 Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County. The CFR is a biennial report which evaluates the community’s assets, gaps, opportunities and challenges in eleven key areas, including today’s topic: Early Childhood.

Our guests for today’s panel conversation are: Jonathan Groves, facilitator of the CFR; Dana Carroll, Vice President of Early Childhood and Family Development with Community Partnership Of The Ozarks, and CFR Early Childhood Steering Committee Chair; Anitera Jackson, Assistant Director of the Adah Fullbright Early Childhood Center, and Michelle Gavel, parent of three children in Springfield Public Schools, one of which is enrolled in the SPS Early Childhood Learning Program.

Production support for the Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County, comes from: The Community Foundation of the Ozarks,The Junior League of Springfield, The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, The Springfield-Greene County Library District, and The United Way of The Ozarks.

The Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County is available for viewing at

Mike Smith's career at KSMU began in 1980 as a student announcer when the former Navy Submariner attended (then) SMSU with help from the GI Bill. In 1982 Smith became a full time member of the KSMU family as "Chief Announcer", responsible for the acquisition, training and scheduling of the student announcing staff. It was also in 1982 when Smith first produced "Seldom Heard Music" a broadcast of Bluegrass which is still heard on KSMU and every Saturday night at 7CT.