Jul 16, 2014The Essex Reporter
Saramichelle Stultz

I am a member of the Council for Building Bright Futures (BBF) of Chittenden County, a former BBF Coordinator for Essex and an Ambassador for Let’s Grow Kids.

I’m writing about the new educational animated video produced by the Let’s Grow Kids campaign, titled “Why Focus on the First Years.” The video illustrates brain development in babies and toddlers and the quality early experiences our youngest children need to be prepared to succeed in school and in life: good nutrition, nurturing relationships with caregivers, stimulating interactions with adults, and safe and stable environments.

I think this video is important because too many of our children are not getting the support and preparation they need for strong cognitive, social and emotional development. As the video highlights, 80 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first three years, and the brain connections made during this time become the foundation for future learning, skill-building, and social-emotional development. We want all of our children to get the preparation they need to live happy, successful lives, but 40-50 percent of children in Vermont are unprepared for kindergarten and 32 percent of third-graders are reading below grade level.

You can watch the video and find out more about the Let’s Grow Kids public education campaign at the website: letsgrowkids.org. If you support creating positive, lasting change that will help all of our children get the preparation they need to succeed in life, please share this video with your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.

Saramichelle Stultz
Essex Junction

Click here to read this article at essexreporter.com.

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