Valley leaders meet to discuss early education

FRESNO, Calif.

The Fresno Children's Movement is part of a nationwide effort stressing the importance of early education.

Fresno County alone has one of the highest drop out rates in the country, and one out of every four students don't get their high school diploma.

A sold-out crowd packed a ballroom in the to talk about kids and how their success is important to America's future.

The first-ever State of the Children breakfast took center stage Thursday morning to raise awareness in the Valley.

"Right now we're busy building an army, and we'd like to see our army be citizen in Fresno County. We believe if are an army, we believe we have a community that truly believes in kids," Catherine Huerta of the Fresno Children's Movement said.

The goal is to make young children the priority in our lives.

The group's belief is that if kids are successful early in life, less taxpayer money and resources will be needed to support them when they grow up.

Pre-school kids from the Brooks Head Start program represent the key demographic of who this movement is helping.

Organizers brought in the head of Florida's movement, which is already a few years old. David Lawrence shared stories and inspired those like Lupita de Loa with the Youth Leadership Institute. She believes listening to a child's needs are important.

"I found that a lot of adults don't consider that. They don't think about 'ohh, what do the youth think'. They're setting these rules for them but how do they feel about it? What do they think about certain things in their community. So to some people it's like 'what?' It's mind boggling. But to us this is like normal, this is great. We've got to push this," de Loa said.

The children's movement premiered a promotional video to the crowd showcasing the startling statistics about drop out rates and the reason why early education is necessary, and with more supporters they hope to change the outlook on this generation and others to come.

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