Recently, more than 100 community and staff members came together to learn more about the latest brain science. They heard from experts how children learn and the powerful benefits of investing in early learning. They discussed the importance of sharing information and identifying actions we can take together to build a community that acknowledges, nurtures and benefits from the capabilities of its youngest citizens.
about early learning? Brain
research tells us 90 percent of a child’s brain develops BEFORE that child turns
5 years old – the legal age for beginning kindergarten. In fact, more than 1
million new neural connections form every
second in the first few years of our life. Our K-12 students will be most
successful when the entire community, its families, agencies, businesses and
resources, partner to embrace early learning opportunities for each student.
Who was part of the conversation? District staff were key in the discussions, and the district’s early learning story of success was a highlight of the day. Other regional and national professionals established the foundational importance of early learning for all students – including the enormous economic value early learning provides to local economies. Working together, staff and these professionals facilitated early learning discussions including some “next step” possibilities for the district.
What did we learn?
The point of this work is? We must have adequate facilities and programs for more students. That “adequacy” will only come with community support and inclusion.
Students are coming to us with varying degrees of before-kindergarten experiences and opportunities – at the same time they are coming to us at all grades with a plethora of cultural and societal experiences. School funding – even with a perfect implementation of the McCleary Decision – will always require resources greater than what is available. We can enrich our resources with partners who understand how they benefit and how they can play a role in enhancing schools and supporting each student’s learning.
I am personally and
professional grateful to and impressed by those who have organized and attended
the early learning symposium. Their work and engagement is the foundation for
our district’s past and future success and continuous improvement.