Parents will send their kindergarteners to school this fall where they might sit and be talked at all day. The older they become, the more they will sit. It’s the way students are traditionally taught. But there’s always room for improvement. Long Beach resident, Angela Russ-Ayon, wanted to give her young children an educational boost at an early age, before she enrolled them in preschool, so she researched how the brain developed from birth - something she didn’t learn in prenatal classes.
She found that most children learn best from hands-on experiences, or kinesthetic learning, which can be stimulating, fun, and create a love of learning. Incorporating music and movement into her children’s little discoveries could give them a strategic edge in the classroom. After all, don’t we sing our ABCs? Can’t we clap and count? With this knowledge in hand, Angela began composing short songs about finding shapes, acting like animals, and moving body parts. Her music grew so popular in the carpool to school that fellow parents convinced her to walk away from her 15-year sales management position and create AbridgeClub.com, a Russ InVision Company, to produce more music.
Since she had no previous musical experience, she connected with local musicians and recording studios, tested her songs in preschool classrooms, and released her first three CDs under the Russ InVision label. Right away, the CDs made their way into popular early learning educational catalogs and sold very well, which paved the way to make AbridgeClub.com what it is today, an array of interactive multimedia educational tools for young children. Angela expanded her line by translating a collection of her songs into Spanish, incorporating instructional DVDs, and designing a card game. Since her company’s inception, she has exceeded 1.75 million in sales, received multiple awards, and produced music for big names in early childhood such as WIC,
First 5, Fisher-Price, Kaiser Permanente, and Head Start.
Besides educational media, Angela is a published author of children’s books. Most people do not know how fast a manuscript can be published using Amazon’s KDP platform, but Angela shares her knowledge about self-publishing during author visits to schools and family engagement presentations at local libraries. She’s even written a helpful resource guide that provides tips on different aspects of publishing: which fonts to use, how to incorporate story elements, how royalties are paid, and how to upload files to KDP, for example. Anyone can use this book, but its target audience is fourth grade to high school students who aspire to publish and print paperback picture books.
Angela is also a fee-based keynote speaker who presents workshops nationwide at conferences that promote early childhood education such as NAEYC and NHSA, as well as those whose goal it is to improve parenting and childcare. Her workshops are educational, but they incorporate musical and physical activities from an adult learner’s perspective, which is far from your typical lecture. In this way, she is able to demonstrate how children learn. Presenting content that covers brain-based research, math, literacy, or science, attendees learn about spatial awareness when they shake their “boom booms,” or patterns when they “pour, whip, chop, and toss,” as they use their bodies to interpret the songs.
Even with advocates like Angela, not everyone understands how critical early childhood development is. Parents can support an abundance of their child’s brain development in the early years; between the ages of birth to six. This is when a child’s synapses form in a healthy brain at a faster rate than at any other time of life. Research has proven that stronger pathways can result in a child processing information faster, focusing with less effort, and retaining more information. There are many things, which combined, can increase connections in the brain and benefit its growth, including musical experiences, active play, social interaction, diverse pursuits, new and novel activities, being read to, child-centered exploration, proper nutrition, positive relationships, and pre-kindergarten programs.
Scientists are discovering more about brain development every day. That’s why the information Angela shares with parents, caregivers, and educators is so significant. The songs she produces may be silly and playful, but they are designed to benefit the physical and cognitive development of young children in a variety of ways, and there’s nothing silly about that.
To book an interactive workshop or author visit with Angela, email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.