As the school year begins, too many children are already falling behind. I am 1 of 30 bloggers helping #FindtheWords with @SavetheChildren to raise awareness of the need for early childhood education for all kids. I am participating in this social media campaign to highlight 30 words in 30 days—to symbolize the 30 million fewer words that children from low-income homes hear by age 3.
Save the Children provides kids in need with access to books, essential learning support and a literacy-rich environment, setting them up for success in school and a brighter future. Learn more about Save the Children’s work in the US and around the world: http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6153159/k.C8D5/USA.htm
Walking hand-in-hand with my girls into their bustling school buildings last week, we were engulfed in the happy orchestra of welcomes and hellos from teachers and friends. At 9 and 12 they have goals for the school year, whether it be acing a project or a test.
Growing up my mother encouraged me to do and be whatever I set my heart on. The importance of making, and achieving, goals was emphasized my entire life. Now that I’m a mom I try to be a voice of encouragement to my girls. Even before my girls were born I spoke to them, placing my hand on my belly and telling them how much they were loved and what a wonderful world they would experience when they they were born.
My girls are lucky to have a voice and to grow up in a household where their voice matters. They have peers and mentors, teachers and role models, all encouraging them to dream big and live big. My 7th grader is already talking about college and asking me questions about career choices. My 3rd grader is also genuinely curious about school and career and making the right decisions.
I was honored when Save the Children asked me to be part of their #FindtheWords campaign and write about goals.
Not hearing 30 million words by age 3 puts kids lower-income at a disadvantage from the start. Early childhood education is an advantage that every kid should be able to access.
Domestically, if all children had access to early childhood education, we would see a growth of $2 trillion to the annual gross domestic income within one generation
Young children who receive high-quality early education from infancy to age five do better in reading and math [Source: http://www.ounceofprevention.org/about/why-early-childhood-investments-work.php].
Early childhood education can help kids reach their goals in school and beyond.
To me, goals and hope are synonymous. Goals are the belief that you can attain bigger and better things.
Last year I traveled half-way around the world last year to the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, one of the largest slums in the world. Despite the overwhelming poverty and adversity, the teen girls I met who had never once stepped foot outside the slums still had goals. These girls dreamed of being business owners, doctors, lawyers, teachers. They did not let their meager physical surroundings define them. They were determined, not discouraged.
Don’t ever stop setting goals. For as long as we have goals, we have hope.
I’d love for YOU to participate in Save the Children’s #FindtheWords campaign and by doing so you could win a $100 gift card. Snap a picture when you see the word goals while you’re out and about, or surfing Pinterest, reading your favorite blog, book or magazine, or take a selfie that defines the meaning of goals for you and post the image or quote, etc., to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Tag your post with the hashtags #FindtheWords #goals and leave a comment here with a link to your post. (One entry per person, please!)
I’ll select a winner at random from all #FindtheWords #goals images posted to social media by midnight CST Sunday, August 17.