May 06, 2014The Islander
Peggy Rainville

Let’s Grow Kids is a new statewide public education campaign that was launched on April 25, at Main Street Landing, with a press conference featuring some of the leading advocates for early childhood education in the state. Let’s Grow Kids' focus is on the importance of quality early childhood education. Funded by a collaboration of private foundations, Let’s Grow Kids is working with Vermont communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals to create positive lasting change that will allow all of our children to succeed in life.

The campaign grew out of a survey that showed that most Vermonters do not understand the importance of the early years of a child’s life despite research proving that 80 percent of a child’s brain develops by age three and 90 percent of a child’s brain is developed before age five and that early experiences lay the foundation for later success.

Let’s Grow Kids lists five simple things that every child needs to do: sing- singing exposes babies to rhythm and pitch; eat well- a nutritious diet helps babies to develop good physical and emotional health; read- reading introduces babies to the sounds and words of language; play- play teaches children motor skills, cooperation and problem solving; talk- talking to babies helps them to focus on the specific sounds of their native language.

Please consider signing the following pledge at letsgrowkids.org to support this campaign:
I want a society where all children can grow and live to their full potential. Because 80 percent of a child’s brain develops by age three, building the foundation for success in life, I believe it’s important we ensure that Vermont’s children have quality early experiences. Therefore, I support efforts to build positive, lasting change that will allow all of our children the opportunity to succeed in life. See more at: http://www.letsgrowkids.org/#pledge.

In my roles as the program director at VSA Vermont, the coordinator of and teaching artist in, our Start with the Arts program, I am working to help make a difference in Vermont’s children’s lives. Our Start with the Arts program provides professional
development for childcare providers and rich arts based literacy experiences for the children, ages zero to five, in their care. Visit our website: www.vsavt.org for information on Start with the Arts and our other programs. Please join us in supporting the youngest Vermonters. Thank you, and contact me at peggy@vsavt.org.

Peggy Rainville

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