Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reimagining early childhood education

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 2:16 PM

The Raising of America - Trailer (30 sec) from California Newsreel on Vimeo.

I was talking to my sister-in-law recently about all the cutbacks she's made in order to pay for half-day preschool for my 3-year-old nephew. 

She was clearly irritated. If all the evidence shows that kids really need to go to preschool, why isn't it provided as a part of public schooling, she wondered. Well, it turns out that there's a lot of research into early education these days. That research is showing what our country could do to help young kids develop into successful adults — if we're willing to spend the money and make the changes.

PBS is running a documentary on the subject and a group is hosting a community-wide conversation on the topic this Saturday. Read on for all the details:

Pikes Peak area organizations commence a community conversation about early childhood

The newly formed group The Raising of America: Pikes Peak Community Alliance will launch a community-wide conversation on the topic of early childhood on Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 10am-12pm at Library 21c. Led by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the alliance has the support of 18 other organizations in the Pikes Peak region. The group is using the PBS documentary (airing in January) as the basis for facilitated dialogues to explore ways our own community might address the issues raised in the series.

“We believe that this is an important conversation for our community to have,” said Cara Koch, local AAUW Public Policy Director, “There is significant new research in the areas of child development and the economics of investing in early childhood, and the life-long effect of inequity on the futures of our children.”

The alliance seeks to engage all facets of the community in the conversation including parents and families, service providers, community leaders, public policy makers, and philanthropists.

The first public event will be Saturday, January 9 from 10am-12pm at Library 21c. The conversation will explore how the growing squeeze on families for time, money, and resources can alter the development of a child’s brain- and lead to life-long effects. Community members may view The Raising of America on January 7 from 9-10pm on Rocky Mountain PBS. A second event will take place in April.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

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