David Ruhlman, Dr. Rachel Marston and their son, Elliot

Supporting community connections

Elliot Ruhlman

Elliot Ruhlman

MPR felt like a place where Rachel and David could find community when they moved to Minnesota from Utah. The local station allowed them to find out what was happening in the area. Plus, they could trust the coverage of the news and local events.

Rachel's also a huge fan of The Current©, and NPR's Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!, and Code Switch, which tackles the intersections of race and identity in the U.S. The book reviews and author interviews on that show inform Dr. Marston as she discusses race in some of the literature classes that she teaches.

"As parents who are writers and artists, we knew Elliot was well-covered in the humanities," Rachel says of their 7-year-old son. "We wanted to find a science podcast that gave him a good grounding in science but that was also imaginative and playful in how it approached science."

APM's Brains On! fits the bill. That's why the Ruhlman-Marston family donates not only to MPR | APM but to the podcast directly as well. What Rachel likes is how it takes kids' intellect and curiosity seriously. "The podcast understands how smart kids actually are about what they see in the world."

Elliot's favorite episode? "The one on sharks!" Elliot exclaims. "Sharks have soft, squishy skin, so their teeth are the only defense they have."