University of Idaho - I Banner

Early Education Focus of U of I Talk in Boise

August 12, 2019

BOISE, Idaho — Aug. 12, 2019 — The relationship between early education and the success of Idaho’s economy will be the subject of the next Vandal Voices speaker series event Thursday, Aug. 29, hosted by University of Idaho Boise.

Mike Satz, executive officer at U of I Boise, and Beth Oppenheimer, executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC), will discuss “The Business Case for Early Childhood Education” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at Amsterdam Lounge, 609 W. Main St., Boise.

Satz and Oppenheimer will discuss the importance of early learning as the foundation to success beyond high school, how early learning is at the heart of a healthy economy and why higher education is invested in younger students.

According to research, young children who have access to high-quality early learning programs are more likely to enter school ready to learn, read by third grade, graduate high school and obtain a higher education degree. Many families in Idaho do not have access to or are unable to afford a high-quality early learning program.

“In addition to the benefits that high-quality early learning has on children, early education also impacts the workforce,” said Oppenheimer. “Access to affordable early learning programs allow parents to participate in the workforce, which helps businesses to attract and retain talent and ultimately strengthens our economy.”

In addition to his work at U of I, Satz is the chairperson of RISE–Treasure Valley’s Education Partnership and serves on the executive steering committee of the Educate Idaho Network and the Neighbor’s United steering committee and its Workforce and Adult Education Committee. He supports efforts aimed and increasing Idaho’s go-on rates with an emphasis on pre-K and STEM education outcomes.

Oppenheimer works through her role at Idaho AEYC to ensure all children have access to healthy, safe and quality child care and early childhood programs. She has led initiatives to strengthen child care licensing at both the city and state level and is the lead advocate for state investments for preschool in Idaho.

Vandal Voices is free and open to those 21 and older. Space is limited and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants can RSVP here.

The bi-monthly speaker series is sponsored by U of I Boise. It is designed to inform and engage Idahoans in the Treasure Valley about research and educational topics.

A subsequent Vandal Voices is planned for October. The topic, time and location for that talk will be announced at a later date.

Media Contact

Maria Ortega
Marketing and Communication Manager
U of I Boise

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at