Join us Sunday, September 13th at 4:30 p.m. for The Early Link Podcast: Season 1, Episode 26, featuring host Rafael Otto. Listen live at 99.1 FM in the heart of Portland – or online anywhere at

On this episode of The Early Link, we honor Dr. Ruby Takanishi by sharing an interview with her from November 2016 in which she discusses her book, First Things First: Creating the New American Primary School. 

Dr. Takanishi shares her insights about reimagining public education and discusses inequalities in education based on a variety of interconnected factors. She also provides advice for Oregon in building a stronger early learning system, and much more.


Dr. Ruby Takanishi was an amazing woman and thought leader who devoted her life to making a difference in the lives of children over many decades of unwavering commitment and passion to create equitable educational opportunity.

She was the longtime president of the Foundation for Child Development and made numerous contributions in that role including developing the PreK-3rd movement, and a fierce commitment to the needs of immigrant children and dual language learners. She was always ahead of public opinion.

More than a decade ago, she helped shape the direction of Early Works and more recently served as senior advisor to the development and launch of Early School Success. She was a mentor to our host, Rafael Otto, and pushed Children’s Institute to explore new information and ideas, read the latest research, ask probing and insightful questions, listen to more voices, and dig deep on the issues impacting young children and their families.


Rafael Otto, Director of Communications, Children’s Institute

~ Thanks to Children’s Institute, working to ensure that every Oregon child has the best start in life ~