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Anna Siegal


Red Hook, Brooklyn, NYC

Recorded by

Nicolette Lodico


This interview took place on August 31, 2021 remotely via Zoom; it is Anna Siegal's fifth conversation with the Education Narratives Project. At the time of the interview, Anna was the Executive Director at Red Hook Playgroup, a progressive community-based early education program. She is preparing to begin the third school year impacted by the pandemic and feeling the weight and burden of continued restrictions and obstacles that threaten her ability to provide a quality educational and developmental experience for her students. She describes a sense of feeling bored with and tired of the tedium of dealing with COVID-19. She feels distanced from actual teaching--the work she loves--because of her responsibility as executive director to navigate and advise on the logistics involved in getting children into the classroom. She sees potential burnout in her colleagues and is actively promoting self care and work/life balance for her teachers. Anna talks extensively about how she and the teachers at her school are engaging children in facing and talking about the pandemic and the many other difficult issues that have surfaced during the past year and a half (racial tension, economy, climate change, politics). She also talks about the special projects her students worked on through the last school year to express their thoughts and feelings about what is happening in the world. Anna expresses cautious hope and optimism for the future, envisioning young children who grow up imbued with a sense of fairness for all, social justice, and activism as a result of what they are learning and absorbing from the world around them.

Interviewer Bio:

Nicolette Lodico is an archivist and knowledge manager who specializes in helping people and organizations—particularly those whose work supports the public good—establish sustainable practices for managing both what they create and what they know so they can make informed decisions, be transparent, and minimize risk. She helps organizations tell the story about their work, to reflect on and learn from past work and share that knowledge with those who will benefit, and to provide opportunities for future researchers and historians to examine and evaluate this work. Currently, she is the director of global information and knowledge management at the Ford Foundation where she is overseeing a comprehensive, multiyear oral history project to gather the reflections of key former staff. She also is the former president and emeritus board member of the Technology Association of Grantmakers, a non-profit organization that cultivates the strategic and equitable use of technology to advance philanthropy. She earned her M.L.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

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