To the Editor:
I plan to attend the Raising of America Sneak Peek and Conversations event on Oct. 28 in Montpelier and I encourage others to do so as well. It’s especially important that our policymakers participate in these important community discussions about early childhood that are happening across the state this month.
As executive director of the Family Center of Washington County, the local parent-child center, I am well aware of the challenges facing parents today as they juggle raising a family and making ends meet.
The Family Center provides child development and family support activities to nearly 4,000 young children and their families every year. It’s essential that such supports exist for families because our children’s earliest years are critical to support them becoming productive and healthy members of our society. Eighty percent of the brain develops by age 3, and 90 percent by age 5. The experiences children have during these years are literally built into their brains. Positive experiences — like nurturing and supportive relationships with caregivers, stimulating learning activities, good nutrition, and a safe and stable environment — lay a strong foundation for future success.
I urge every Washington County legislator, city councilor, select board or school board member, law enforcement official, school administrator and others to attend the Raising of America event Oct. 28 with me. Seventeen statewide organizations and government agencies worked with California Newsreel to bring a special sneak peek of the powerful new “The Raising of America” documentary to Vermont. Set to air on PBS in the spring, the documentary explores how giving our children a strong start improves their prospects for success — and creates a more prosperous society. The sneak peek will be followed by a community discussion with panelists from our region.
Please join me in participating in this important conversation Oct. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pavilion Auditorium. You can find out more information and RSVP at letsgrowkids.org.
Lee S. Lauber
Family Center of Washington County