May 15, 2014Addison Independent
Patti Smith

I’m writing in support of Let’s Grow Kids, the public education campaign focused on the importance of children’s earliest years. 

Vermont is a special and pioneering state that holds unique opportunities for families. Its beauty and wonderful people led me to raise my six children here, in addition to helping to raise my niece and nephews.

I am also a childcare provider and my decades of experience in childhood development include working or volunteering in public and private schools (preschool through high school aged-children) as well as a Nanny and Governess to many children of all ages with varying abilities and setbacks in life. 

I appreciate how Vermonters have always recognized the importance of stewarding the next generation. However, we need to be doing more to prepare our children to succeed by focusing on their earliest years. Eighty percent of a child’s brain develops in the first three years of life—setting a foundation for all future learning and social-emotional skills. Healthy brain development depends on quality early experiences, including an interactive, stimulating learning environment, and supportive, nurturing relationships. Good nutrition, proper rest, guidance in making safe, healthy, and thoughtful decisions, teaching values, etc., are also important. 

As a community, we need to help provide our children the opportunity they need to succeed and become productive members of the world. Please join me in supporting the Let’s Grow Kids campaign to encourage Vermonters to focus on the first years in the lives of our children! Sign the pledge at

Sincerely and with thanks,

Patti Smith

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