Oct 20, 2014Addison Independent

BURLINGTON--A sneak peek of a powerful new PBS documentary, The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation, will be shared in ten Vermont locations during the last two weeks of October. On October 30 at the Middlebury College Twilight Auditorium (30 College St.) from 5:30 - 7:30 pm, Addison County residents will have the opportunity to see the documentary sneak peek and participate in the local community conversation.

Due to be released by PBS next spring, The Raising of America takes an in-depth look at how a strong start for all children leads to greater individual success and a more prosperous and equitable society. The sneak peek will be followed by a community discussion or "local take" on this national issue. These local conversations will be led by business leaders, pediatricians, early childhood professionals and parents from the community.  

"Science tells us that the earliest years are the most critical to our children's future success, and research has shown that many Vermonters don't realize this," said Robyn Freedner-Maguire, director of the Let's Grow Kids campaign. "We are sharing the sneak peek of this documentary to jumpstart conversations in communities across the state about how we can better support a strong start for all Vermont children."

In Vermont, 40 to 50 percent of our children are not prepared for kindergarten when they arrive. Thirty-two percent of our third graders are reading below grade level. And, 72% of Vermont's children under the age of six have all parents in the workforce, which means they are likely spending up to 40 hours per week in someone else's care.

These "Raising of America Sneak Peek & Conversations," sponsored by Let's Grow Kids and 17 other Vermont organizations and government agencies, are free and open to the public.

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