Start Early Raises $1.2 Million to Transform Lives Through Early Education

Annual Luncheon Start Early Better makers

Start Early welcomed more than 3,000 people to its live virtual Annual Luncheon April 22. Presented by LaSalle Network and the Zell Family Foundation, the nationwide celebration of the power of early learning raised more than $1.2 million to change the course for our youngest learners and their families.

Annual-Luncheon Start early Clinton Boyd Jr

Through the inspiring stories of families, educators and early learning champions and performances by the Soul Children Choir of Chicago, the program showcased how quality early learning and care programs lay a positive foundation for our youngest learners and provide necessary supports for all families. Notable speakers included former first lady Michelle Obama and Clinton Boyd Jr., a national leader on social equity and parent engagement.

“The pandemic has underscored that starting early matters to all families — regardless of race, background, geography or income,” said Diana Rauner, president of Start Early. “Each year, our luncheon brings us together as champions of early learning and reminds us that when we invest in early childhood education, we can transform the lives of our future generation.”


The event also highlighted the role we each play — as a parent, family member, friend or colleague — to support our children, families and early childhood workforce. This can include spreading the word about early learning’s impact in our communities, contacting your legislator in support of an advocacy campaign or sharing the gift of financial support. Every investment of time or resources makes a difference. Watch the event recording or learn more about ways to get involved.

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