The Intersection

Gov. Hunt Speaks on Early Childhood Investments

November 5, 2013


Recently, Governor Jim Hunt spoke to a crowd of business, political, and civic leaders in Greensboro about the importance of  investing in early childhood education in Guilford County, NC. Gov. Hunt, a keynote speaker, – along with psychologist Nathan Fox, a professor at the University of Maryland, and David Lawrence, Jr., president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation in Florida – stressed that children should begin school ready to learn, prepared mentally, emotionally and socially before kindergarten. He urged leaders to understand that “85 percent of brain growth occurs by age three and that that the first 2,000 days of a child’s life are critical to shaping who they will be. Investing in early childhood education is morally important and economically the smartest thing we could do.”

Lawrence cited data to the crowd, stating that “Guilford County has more than one in three third-graders that can’t read with a minimum proficiency,” in which many of the children will not catch up.  He continued,  “one in four children live in poverty, an increase of 15 percent since 2000.”

Lawrence suggested a model program for early childhood education in Miami-Dade, FL, where the county voted to raise property taxes to improve education and prepare children for kindergarten.

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