Oct 28, 2014Brattleboro Reformer
Debra J. Gass

Editor of the Reformer:

As the executive director of Early Education Services, the local Head Start/Early Head Start and Parent-Child Center serving over 250 families every year, I see firsthand the impact of early experiences on our youngest citizens every day. I applaud our state for passing a Public Pre-K bill this year which assures that every child can participate in a quality early childhood program. However, there still remains a critical need for greater investment in the early years of a child’s life.

The research is clear: giving our 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 Raising of America sneak peak and community conversations, taking place at the Latchis Theater on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 5:30-7:30 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 California Newsreel production company to bring a special sneak peek of the documentary to Vermont. The preview will be followed by a community discussion with local panelists who have experience in business, education, parenting, and early childhood. It is in our best interest to ensure all children have quality early care and learning experiences. Please join us for this important community conversation. For more information, please visit: letsgrowkids.org.

Debra J. Gass,
EES executive director,
Brattleboro, Oct. 16

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