Join Laura Waterman Wittstock and Roy Taylor as they talk with Todd Otis and Barb Fabre about early childhood development and education, statewide and on the White Earth Ojibwe Nation. Todd Otis is Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Think Small, a Minnesota nonprofit. Barb Fabre is Administrator for the White Earth Nation’s Child Care & Early Childhood Program. Both share a long history in early childhood education and policy development.
Todd Otis founded Ready 4 K in 2001 and served as its President until the end of 2011. He served as DFL (Democratic) Party chair from 1990 to 1993 and then did public affairs consulting from 1995 to 2001, focusing on early childhood and environmental issues. Todd has written articles and a book (A Review of Nuclear Energy in the United States: Hidden Power) on energy issues. He has served on the Board of Directors of a number of Minnesota-based organizations. In 1978 he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives where he served from 1979 to 1990. He focused on energy, education, and chaired the House Economic Development Committee from 1987 to 1990.
Barb Fabre is an enrolled member of the Ojibwe Nation in Minnesota. She has worked for the White Earth Reservation for 27 years. Barb is co-founder of the Communities Collaborative Brain Development Conference, Minnesota’s largest brain development conference, attracting over 800 parents, teachers, social workers, and health professionals. She was appointed by Governor Dayton to the Minnesota Early Learning Advisory Committee and appointed by Secretary Sebelius to the National Advisory Council on Rural Health & Human Services. Barb manages several programs that work to improve the quality of lives for children, families, and communities at the reservation and national level. She works to ensure that all children receive high quality early childhood and child care services to promote school readiness, health & safety, intervention, parenting, literacy, culture, and child development support.