Oct 19, 2014Valley News
Mary L. Smit

To the Editor: 

As the director of The Family Place, the local parent-child center serving over 1,900 children and families every year, I see the impact of early experiences on young children. The research is clear: Giving young children a strong start improves their chances for success, yielding healthier and more prosperous communities. Eighty percent of a child’s brain develops in the first three years of life, forming a foundation for future skill building, emotional development and learning. 

The kind of relationships and learning experiences children have directly affect their brain development. I urge you to attend the Raising of America sneak peak and community conversations, in our community at the Wilder Center on Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Raising of America is a powerful new documentary set to air on PBS next spring that takes us inside the brain and brings to life recent scientific research revealing how learning experiences can alter brain architecture and developmental outcomes. 

Seventeen Vermont statewide organizations and government agencies worked with the California Newsreel production company to bring a special sneak peek of the documentary to Vermont. The preview will be followed by a discussion with local panelists who have experience in business, education, parenting and early childhood. It is in our best interest to ensure that all children have quality early care and learning experiences.

Please join us for this important community conversation and join us in applauding the state for ensuring that every child in Vermont now has access to quality early learning experiences. For more information, visit letsgrowkids.org or www.familyplacevt.org

Mary L. Smit 

Norwich

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