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Starting Out

Passion for language runs in the family: Our Time Press contributor Elizabeth Rankin-Fulcher and her four-month-old great-grandson, Cairo, were photographed during the Thanksgiving holidays in Maryland. “Can you tell we are discussing world events?” she texted us. Ms. Rankin says research proves learning begins at birth, if not before. So, she speaks to Cairo about all things happening around him, and he, in turn, responds to her lively voice with his own sounds. Theirs is, in fact, a dialogue. Cairo’s grandmother, Brooklyn-born and raised Deborah Crimes, author of Grow Your Mind to Go Global, is the founder of Lessons from Abroad, LLC, the global education and language learning organization now approaching its 20th year. Ms. Crimes, a culture awareness advocate, told us, “Reading to your children is very important,” and making those words come alive with dramatic emphasis, as the family does with Cairo’s current favorite book, The Little Engine That Could, is essential. “And fun, plus prepares them to be thinkers; motivates them to be doers,” added Ms. Rankin-Fulcher, an historian/Harriet Tubman scholar/education activist. “When I think about the future, I am hopeful that, if given the proper head start, this generation of bright Alphas will make their mark in the ongoing quest to shape, grow make our communities better.”