Henrietta Zalkind: Early childhood key to education, career prospects
BY HENRIETTA ZALKIND
DEPC Executive Director
Sunday, February 11, 2018
It is an exciting time to be in the Twin Counties.
New businesses are moving into the area and new leaders are stepping forward to help. There is much enthusiasm and focus on looking ahead, not back. In fact, last week I attended the Institute for Emerging Issues forum. There was a renewed focus on early education as a critical link in the cradle to career pipeline. Career skills and education start in the first years of life, and we must plan early to sustain a productive future workforce.
That means starting early and ensuring these four pillars of early education are met: children are healthy and their development is on track before birth; children are in the highest quality care possible; families are engaged and communities are coordinated; and effective teaching and learning for K-3 students occurs inside and out, 365 days a year.
The Down East Partnership for Children has built a model system for early childhood development that is making a difference. In order to meet the demands of the future and the workforce that will be required — we must scale up that system with a renewed investment and energy.
As the Partnership launches into its 25th year of service to Nash and Edgecombe counties, we look forward to celebrating the progress made but are excited to plan for a future that will improve the lives of children, create a better economy and make an investment with great returns. We know it will take all of us working together to bring the Partnership’s vision to a reality — that every child will be launched as a healthy, lifelong learner by the end of the third grade.
We will celebrate our 25 years in the Twin Counties through a variety of events culminating with a major celebration in December. Look for and save the date information soon. The first event will be a golf tournament to benefit DEPC on April 13 at Northgreen Country Club with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. The “Fore Every Child” Golf Classic will feature a Superball format and include four-person teams. Contact Abby Glover at 252-985-4300 if you would like to join us as a sponsor or enroll a team.
During the following week we will celebrate the Week of the Young Child, April 15-20. This year’s theme is Growing Our Future. Please mark your calendar for this weeklong celebration. The Week of the Young Child is a time to celebrate early learning, young children, their teachers and families. Activities include a Celebration of Faith Communities, Children’s Parade, Story Times at Local Libraries, Party in the Park at DEPC’s Discovery Park and concludes with a Luncheon on April 20. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact us at 252-985-4300 if you would like to be a sponsor or would like more information.
In closing, we couldn’t have made the progress toward improved quality child care, health and literacy without our partners and we look forward to new relationships in the future.