The Washington State Library is a member of the Early Learning Public Library Partnership (ELPLP). The members of ELPLP include libraries of all sizes, income levels, and geographic regions throughout the state of Washington, and represent the extremely diverse population of the state. The member libraries of ELPLP contribute an agreed-upon percentage of their operating budgets to contract with the Foundation for Early Learning. The Foundation, in turn, assists public libraries and other entities and organizations interested in early learning efforts to form partnerships throughout the state. Their online Early Learning Community (http://www.earlylearningcommunity.org) is a free resource that allows families, educators, and early learning professionals to connect and discuss the learning of children, birth through age five.
The Foundation for Early Learning believes that “every child deserves to reach their full potential.” The “Summary of Essential Findings” from “A Science-Based Framework for Early Childhood Policy” (http://developingchild.harvard.edu/library/reports_and_working_papers/policy_framework/) posted by Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child states, “Early experiences determine whether a child’s brain architecture will provide a strong or weak foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health.. Ensuring that children have positive experiences prior to entering school is likely to lead to better outcomes than remediation programs at a later age, and significant up-front costs can generate a strong return on investment. Cost-benefit studies have demonstrated positive returns on high-quality programs for vulnerable children beginning as early as prenatally and as late as age 4.” The Foundation for Early Learning helps to ensure that all children are healthy and ready to succeed in life by investing in communities, quality childcare, and pre-kindergarten programs.
Martha Shinners, Diane Hutchins, and Rand Simmons were among the more than 400 guests who attended the Foundation’s annual Leadership Luncheon last Friday, March 18, at the Seattle Westin. Guests were treated to “Watch Him Roll! Baby Edward’s Amazing Brain” (http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/01/06/132648837/watch-him-roll-baby-edwards-amazing-brain?sc=fb&cc=fp) before the keynote speaker, Rob Glaser, founder of Glaser Progress Foundation, provided guests with an inspirational message, which included a video interview with his parents. Holli Martinez, a member of the Foundation for Early Learning’s Board of Ambassadors, also spoke during the luncheon. For the first time, an early learning expo was included as part of the Luncheon’s activities and included the following sponsors: Child Care Resources, City University of Seattle, Early Learning Public Library Partnership, Kaplan Early Learning Company, Lesley University, Nurturing Pathways, and ParentMap.
A summary and video of the event is located at: http://earlylearning.org/blog/archive/2011/03/21/thank-you-for-joining-us.