The Institute for InterGroup Understanding has maintained an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about early brain development and what parents, teachers, and communities can do to promote neural connectivity in children’s brains.
Outlined below are the key points from the full length article.
Children Need to be Learning Ready by Age Four
Parents, teachers and communities can have a profound effect on children being learning ready by age four. It is key that parents understand that reading, talking, counting and singing to their child promotes neural connections that benefit the child in school. Studies show that children who start behind in learning readiness at age four tend to stay behind their entire educational lives.
Learning Gaps are not Created by Schools
Instead of blaming teachers and schools for those learning gaps, we need to support parents and families and communities in doing what we need to do with each child to keep those gaps from happening in those key days, weeks, months, and years.
Talking Directly to a Child Builds Billions of Neuron Links
Neuron connections create our learning reality for each child and for every school and we actually know how to make neurons connect. Interactions are key. Interactions are golden.
Intelligence Levels Are Not Set at Birth
The Harvard Center for The Developing Child video on brain development and their video on Serve and Return interactions with children both show of the kind of direct and responsive interactions that work to have those connections and capabilities happen for each child. Education Does Not Begin at Kindergarten
Almost No One Knew That Those Processes and Time Frames Affect Each and Every Child
We should make a commitment to address some of those disparities in all of those areas by creating a high level of learning readiness at age four for every child that will put people from every group on a much better path for education, employment, and health.
We Need Universal Knowledge About Neuron Connectivity Processes and Time Frames for All Relevant People
Knowing that catching up is functionally impossible for far too many children after the opportunity for those first years has passed is grim, unfortunate, powerful, painful, often disliked, and extremely useful information. We need this information in order to do the right things with each and every child born in America to make learning gaps disappear now for our schools and for our children
Neuron Connections — Built by the Billions — and Not Kindergarten, Determine the Learning Readiness Levels for Each Child
We now know that the brains of our children from every group are ready for massive developmental opportunities at birth
Brain Development and Neuron Connections Happen at an Individual Level for Each Child
To change the future for our schools and our children, we need to collectively and clearly understand that those neuron connection processes happen individually for each child. They are not collective or group processes. They happen individually, personally, situationally and directly in those key months and years for each child.
We Should Have Stars from Every Group
We know from the new science that each child from every group has a wonderful opportunity to build billions, and even trillions of neuron connections in those first months and years. Be a learning level star.
Talking and Reading to Children Create Neuron Links by the Billions
We can finally end the learning gaps in our schools by doing very basic things with our very young children. through family members, baby sitters, caretakers, and other adults who interact with each child. We know what works to help every child. Talk. Read. Count. Sing.
Medicaid Should Support Having 80 Percent or More of Children Learning Ready by Age Four
We should ask every community in America to make learning readiness levels at age four a priority and a goal and we should use Medicaid as a tool to help all communities achieve that goal.
People Can Do Things Directly to Help Children Achieve That Goal
Some of the things that need to be done to have children be learning ready are easy to do and can be done quickly in collaborative and aligned ways in a wide range of settings.
Goal — 80 Percent of Four-Year-Olds in Every Setting Learning Ready in Five Years
That goal is logistically and functionally possible to achieve.
We Know What to Do to Have Children Be Learning Ready
We need to make sure in our plans to increase the percentage of children who are learning ready at age four that someone talks to every child in each setting to build those connections.
We Have More People in Prison than any Other Country by a Wide Margin
This is relevant to our learning readiness at age four goals and agenda because the undisputed and irrefutable reality is that the majority of people in our prisons can’t read.
Knowledge Is Extremely Empowering
We need to begin by giving the power of clear knowledge to mothers and fathers and families as soon as we can about these issues and processes.
We Need Parental Leave Time to Become Neuron Connection Time
Now that we understand that science, we need to have people who run our legislatures and our governments using it to guide public policy.
The Most Important Number in America Is Learning Readiness at Age Four
The most important thing to do is to help create a learning readiness goal for each community and for us as a country. You are invited to be part of that effort, movement, and agenda. It is a simple formula: Talk, count, read, and sing to your child.