Family Uses Podcast to Learn & Teach

When Jackson and Avery Ausmer saw a need, they decided to fill it.

And their father Lionell Ausmer, a nine-year associate at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMIN), couldn’t be prouder. Jackson, 7, and Avery, 10, listen to podcasts each night as they fall asleep. But when they couldn’t find a podcast to educate them about Black history, they decided to step up and meet that need.

“With George Floyd’s death and everything going on around the country, we wanted our young Black kids to understand we have made significant contributions to the country. In the educational system right now, they don’t focus or talk much about those contributions. Black children need to know they can do anything,” Ausmer said. “We also saw there were no podcasts by children for children. It’s all adults trying to teach children. But children like to hear from someone they can relate to directly.”

So Avery and Jackson, with the help of their parents, started the weekly Hey Black Child podcast at the beginning of July and have looked at subjects such as Black poetry, African American vs. Black, Black superheroes and protesting.

“It’s definitely a proud moment for me to see them light up when we do different episodes,” Ausmer said. “I love to see them learn right before my eyes.”

The podcast has been a family affair. The children do the research and Ausmer’s wife, Nicole, utilizes her education background to craft the script. Ausmer, a member of HMIN’s New Model Purchasing in the Quality Department, handles the technical stuff. 

“We had no experience whatsoever,” Ausmer said. “I ordered microphones and equipment online, and downloaded a mixing app. We set up a sort of sound area in our office and went to work with what we had. We learn something new every time we record.”

Learning is the goal of the podcast for all – not just for the Ausmer family.

“We want to provide information to people who need to know and need to learn something we feel is very important for our country right now,” he said. “It’s important for Black children to understand their history and important for kids of other races to understand too. The next generation is our future and we need to make sure they understand everyone’s contributions so when they are old enough to make decisions and move the country forward, they have the right information to make those decisions.”

The message has resonated with listeners so far. Ausmer said they’ve received great feedback and it’s inspired the family to continue. The podcast takes an honest approach to difficult issues – something kids respond to.

“I think it’s important for people to be aware of the issues that are going on and to understand what our kids feel and how it is impacting them and their thoughts,” Ausmer said. “We tend to discount how they feel and the impact on them. I think it’s crucial to teach them all the important things about our country. We can’t take for granted that they are young and we need to make sure they are educated on what’s going on.”

And if the Ausmer family and the Hey Black Child podcast is successful, children will learn these important history lessons.

The Hey Black Child podcast is available on podcasting platforms Apple, Spotify and Castbox. It can also be found here.

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