Raising Our Kids Right: What Is It Worth?

The Raising of America Screening and DiscussionROA

The Raising of America: Fort Worth event on May 14 brought together over 80 attendees from the business, health, academic, civic, early childhood, and philanthropic communities to view and discuss the video series. Lena Pope hosted the event at its new facility, and The Miles Foundation sponsored the event in partnership with:

The Raising of America documentary brings into sharp focus the critical importance of our children’s development in their earliest years – specifically, before age 5. It highlights research that links quality early childhood programs to success in education and in life.[1] Most importantly, it reveals the value of high quality early childhood education as a social and economic investment that impacts each and every one of us.

Before the film previewed, event emcee and IMPACT TEXAS host Hondo Robertson shared several powerful early childhood statistics[2] with the audience, including:

  • 85% of a child’s core brain structure is formed by age 3.
  • 90% of the brain is developed by the time a child turns 5.
  • By age 3, low-income children have heard 30 million less words than their high-income counterparts.
  • Early interventions of disadvantaged children have been proven to help promote schooling, reduce crime, reduce teenage pregnancy, and foster workforce productivity.
  • The ROI equates to $7 - $16 for every ONE DOLLAR invested in quality early childhood programs.

Following the 30-minute film screening, attendees discussed their reactions and comments within their respective industry breakout groups. Each assigned table facilitator shared their table’s thoughts with the group to close the event. The resounding theme? Kara Waddell of Child Care Associates appropriately summarized, “It’s time to get the word out on the importance of quality early childhood learning and development in Fort Worth.”

We agree. And we’re proud to work with community partners from multiple sectors who share our passion for a brighter future for Fort Worth. Want to get involved? We encourage you to:

  1. Download the key takeaway sheet from our May 14th Raising of America event, and pass it along to three people you think would benefit from hearing that information.
  2. Sign up to receive The Miles Foundation’s quarterly newsletter with relevant updates on education, leadership development, and economic opportunity news in Fort Worth.
  3. Inquire about hosting the next early childhood event in Fort Worth.

Thank you for your interest in this topic, and to all of our partners who made this event a success. If you have questions or would like additional information, please email Sara Redington at sredington@milesfdn.org.

[1] Including the Perry Preschool Study and the Abecedarian Project

[2] Sources: Voices for America’s Children and the Child and Family Policy Center, Heckmanequation.org, NAEYC, NACCRA, TRS, TSR, “The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3