Investing in children for the future

About 97,000 children in Fresno County live in poverty according to the federal government.
May 1, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
About 97,000 children in Fresno County live in poverty according to the federal government.

Hundreds of Fresno County educators and leaders gathered to put their focus on children in our community at the annual state of the children.

Linda Gleason with the Children's Movement said, "It's critical that we focus our attention on children. They're our future and we have a moral obligation to make sure that every child regardless of what zip code they live in, what community they come from have a right to succeed."

Keynote speaker Jeff Edmondson energized the crowd and spoke about impacting every child, from cradle to career, despite financial obstacles.

Edmondson explained, "So Fresno is not that different from other sites around the country, but the fact of the matter is we have to move from spray and pray, where we just spray resources all over the place and pray good things happen. To really beginning to identify what works for kids and then organizing as a community around that."

Edmondson says the business community has already staked a claim in children's futures. One example, Producer's Dairy, re-formulated its chocolate milk to make it healthier. On the education side, advocates spoke about the importance of early childhood education.

Gleason said, "We have only 37 percent of our children that are ready for kindergarten."

Fresno Unified says its made early education a priority.

Fresno Unified School Board President Valerie Davis said, "Spending $7.7 million on four year olds, 100k on art for the four year olds, 100k for music for the four year olds. Really well rounding and addressing the educational gaps."

Investing in our children for the future.


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