It all began with a square dance. Ed Durlacher, a square dance caller, started a record publishing business in 1948 with family members, Alfred and Adele Harris. Ed felt that the joy of square dancing - along with the positive social interaction and physical activity - was beneficial to child development.
Mr. Durlacher created an easy way to teach square dancing. Named the Talk-Through, Walk-Though Method, educators could use the albums without having to study the dance. If you ever square danced in school, you probably were dancing to Ed Durlacher and the Top Hands (his band).
Building on the popularity of this easy-to-learn square dancing method, we produced a complete line of easy-to-follow exercise programs for physical education for able and physically challenged students.
In 1968, our focus on music and movement led to a partnership with Hap Palmer. Hap is known as an innovator in early childhood, and his unique series of basic skills recordings published by Educational Activities were the first to help children grasp academic concepts by moving and singing. Based on his teaching experience, Hap created recordings that could assist teachers with the challenge of incorporating movement activities into the classroom. His musical style proved popular with the teachers themselves; they loved using his songs and his reputation grew.
In the 1980's Educational Activities teamed up with another icon in early childhood, Ella Jenkins, to develop four albums. Ella was the first "folk" performer to teach fun, interactive music in schools and preschools, incorporating world cultures and the joy of music.
More recently Carol Stern, President, worked with the beloved music teacher from Sesame Street, Bob McGrath, and coauthor Marilyn Davidson on the professional development DVD, Curriculum Connections: Using Music to Help Children Learn.
Today, Educational Activities, Inc. is a media company publishing active-learning programs for use in early childhood and elementary school as well as curriculum videos for higher grade levels and professional development programs for early childhood teachers.
Educational Activities' commitment is to produce products that support the efforts of teachers, librarians and parents. We use current brain research to carefully craft engaging educational materials –whether it is to ensure that all young children are ready for school or to help older students understand complex subjects.
For young children, programs focus on developing skills that align to early learning standards and core curricula through developmentally appropriate music and movement activities. For older students, interactive and thoughtful video programs provide reinforcement to subject areas and assist teachers in implementing flipped learning.
Our Company Today
Al Harris continues as CEO working with daughter Carol Stern, President, to publish award-winning programs. We work with educator-authors who develop and test the concepts. Our in-house support staff is dedicated to helping our customers efficiently and with great consideration.
In addition to our office in New York and dealers located throughout the United States, we have an international dealer network in Canada, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Africa and more.
Educational Activities, Inc. in the media:
Grab Your Partner. Do-Si-What? In the Middle of Manhattan? New York Times, September 2013
Company Puts Spin on Education, Newsday, March 1999
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