“Unless we ensure that all children have access to high-quality learning opportunities in their earliest years, when learning and achievement gaps begin to form, we will never reach our goal of all children reading proficiently by grade three.
This is not only about their social and economic future. It’s about ours.”
At Boston Children’s Museum, children between the ages of 0 and 5 years old have “high-quality learning opportunities” every day. And young children are not our only focus – we strive to serve parents, grandparents, extended family, nannies and babysitters, school groups, family childcare providers, child care centers and more. Why are these grownups important to us? Because they are responsible for their child’s learning during what neuroscientists now tell us is the most critical period in a child’s development.
EVERY DAY we: BUILD the capacity of caregivers to engage with the children in their care; ROLE MODEL learning interactions; SHARE WITH PARENTS tips and secrets for helping their kids learn through play; SEND IT HOME in the form of tip sheets, artwork, and praise – 363 days of the year.
We have developed our family engagement practices over 100 years, and now, our Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant has allowed us to provide leadership and share these practices with almost 100 Museums and Libraries statewide. We’ve been able to share our own success, celebrate their success, and then leverage all the partnerships and collaborations for the benefit of our children and families. The Museums and Libraries in our Commonwealth are providing some of the best free and affordable learning experiences available. Talk about high quality opportunities!
We applaud the Governor’s bold vision that leads the way to future prosperity for our Commonwealth. We also look forward to serving even more children, families, teachers and early childhood practitioners as they bring their youngest children through our doors to do what we do best – play and learn!
Text of Governor Deval Patrick’s State of the Commonwealth Speech
Article by Irene Sege, January 15, 2013