- Special Sections
- Public Notices
A local education leader joined others across the state Wednesday to show that children who are “great by 8” can be great at any age.
Al Rider, president and chief executive officer of the North Central Education Foundation, spoke at a statewide summit for the Great by 8 initiative. The effort’s aim is to educate communities on how early childhood education influences economic growth.
Rider presented information on how businesses can be involved in early childhood education.
Rider said he was fond of the initiative’s name, because it invoked the ability to fashion how children learn early in life. Scientific research has shown most personality traits, learning patterns and brain development takes place during the first eight years, he said.
Sponsored by a number of organizations including the Kentucky Department of Education, Toyota and Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts, the conference's overall goal is to increase awareness of the important role this time period in children’s lives eventually plays in economic development.
Rider said he wants businesses to know while it’s a long-term investment, working for quality early childhood education is worthwhile. Money that goes to it is saved in other areas, such as incarceration and social remediation programs. It also creates better employees and more productive citizens.
“It’s absolutely critical for the future of our society,” he said.
Now that research has shown what children are capable of during this time in their lives, society must react, he said.
“I’m a firm believer that we have to start thinking of children and their learning capacities in a different light,” he said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.