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Emily Roden

Behind her sweet Southern accent, Emily Roden has a passion for education. It was this passion – along with a degree in music education and a personal desire to prepare her own three children for school – that ultimately led Emily to found Ready Rose, a video education tool for 0- to 5-year-olds.
 
Just a year and a half ago, Emily founded Ready Rosie after leaving Pearson Higher Education, where she worked in consulting and sales. Emily and her husband Kevin, a Denton city councilman, opted to name the “side project” after their oldest daughter, Rosie.
 
The program, which can be accessed online through participating school districts and communities, has since grown from a side project enjoyed by a handful of moms to a program used by 10,000 families and counting in Texas. Ready Rosie’s two-minute daily videos (in English and Spanish) provide parents with a way to turn everyday activities such as a trip to the grocery store into teaching moments, using a “Watch. Do. Learn.” model. Watch the activity being modeled, do the activity with a child, learn to make use of every teachable moment. The goal, Emily says, is to prepare children to learn when they eventually start school by teaching problem-solving, math and literacy, and essential life skills.
 
“With my oldest, we started learning about how we get her ready for school and for success,” Emily says. “I knew there were a lot of things out there but no quick and easy resources. I could tell my children’s only limit to learning was me. They're like a sponge, and I wondered what I could do in real life to help them learn.”
 
Roden says one of the most difficult things about starting Ready Rosie was learning to be her own boss, since she’d never been the final decision-maker at previous jobs. But it's taught her to grow and challenge herself, which ultimately helps her kids too.
 
“Even though it's hard, making a difference with families is the ultimate goal,” Roden says. “It's important to be able to provide to all kids in a community.”

Published March 2014