Leaders and Advocates, Including Michelle Obama, Unite to Celebrate the Transformational Power of Starting Early

Start Early Luncheon

A child’s brain develops faster from birth to age 5 than at any other time, and their earliest experiences and relationships are profoundly important when it comes to laying a foundation for future successes in school and in life.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, early childhood professionals — from doulas and home visitors to preschool teachers and in-home day care providers — have remained on the front lines to provide children and their families with meaningful early learning experiences that help every child reach their full potential.

For Danielle Jordan, a senior master teacher at the early learning school Educare Chicago, the last year’s pandemic and racial protests influenced an opportunity to not only bring joy and wonder into the homes of her young students, but also to support their social-emotional development. By creating new virtual learning activities that engaged the entire family, Jordan and her team helped students discuss with one another what was going on, while celebrating their cultural heritage and sharing what makes them unique.

“We encouraged students to share what is distinct about their families, how they celebrate special occasions and what is important to them,” she shares.

On April 22, Jordan will share her story alongside other educators, parents, corporate leaders and champions for early learning, including Former First Lady Michelle Obama, as part of Start Early’s Annual Luncheon. Through these inspiring stories, the program will celebrate the lasting impact that early learning can have on transforming the future of every child.

For 40 years, Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention Fund) has advanced quality early childhood experiences for children living in under-resourced communities that are proven to help level the playing field and allow children and families to thrive.

While every journey shared during the event will be unique, there are multiple paths to reaching one’s full potential. Learn more at StartEarly.org.

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