For Immediate Release - April 03, 2014

“Brain Building in Progress” Week to Kick off with Events for Families in 85 Communities across MA

Campaign aims to engage all who interact with children around the importance of early childhood development

BOSTON – The rising national prominence of the importance of early childhood development to future school success and economic prosperity will be in the local spotlight next week as the 3rd annual “Brain Building in Progress” Week kicks off April 5 in more than 85 communities across the state.  For one week every year, United Way and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care bring together parents, business leaders, educators, and community leaders to build young minds and a more prosperous future for everyone in Massachusetts.

Governor Deval Patrick has declared April 5-12, 2014 “Brain Building in Progress Week” in Massachusetts, in further support of the statewide campaign to bring together local partners around the importance of enriching and engaging environments that offer learning opportunities for young children. Brain Building in Progress Week also occurs during the national Week of the Young Child.  Now in its third year, Brain Building in Progress Week has grown to include hundreds of participants in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Past events have ranged from literacy fairs and business roundtables to visits to legislators.

“Access to high-quality early education programs and community-based support gives every child in Massachusetts the very best chance to succeed in the 21st century economy,” said Governor Patrick. “Investing in our children at a young age pays huge dividends for them and for our Commonwealth.”

This year, 85 events will be held throughout the week in 85 communities, including “Turn off Your Digital Device Family Fun Night” in Hamilton, a Brain Building in Progress Parade in Fitchburg with Mayor Lisa Wong, a Scavenger Hunt hosted by Attleboro Public Schools and “Mother Goose on the Loose!,” sponsored by Lowell Public Schools. On Thursday April 10th, Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber will participate in Brain Building in Progress week by reading books on springtime and planting during a family literacy hour at the Haverhill Public Library.  A complete list of Brain Building in Progress Week activities can be found at www.brainbuildinginprogress.org

 “We all know that a child’s development in the first five years sets the foundation for their future success. The Brain Building campaign is an opportunity for us all to talk, share, and learn about how we can work together to make this a priority in our daily interactions with children across the Commonwealth. There is no better investment of our time and resources than cultivating these young minds,” said United Way president Michael K. Durkin.

Joining United Way and EEC as sponsors of Brain Building in Progress Week are Boston Children’s Museum, WGBH, Parent-Child Home Program, Massachusetts Head Start Association, Thrive in 5, Early Ed for All, Boston Alliance for Early Education, MassAEYC, and Mass. Department of Public Health.

A recently launched calendar and map on brainbuildinginprogress.org provides a comprehensive list of Brain Building in Progress Week events, as well as a comprehensive list of “Brain Building Zones” and events that are easily searched by community throughout the year.  Close to 200 Coordinated Family and Community Engagement programs, museums, and libraries throughout the state have posted almost 2,000 events throughout the spring. Activities include ongoing events like parent workshops and play groups as well as onetime events such as Family Fun Nights and Infant Dental Care.

Research shows the importance on investing in early education from birth:[1]

  • In a child’s first few years of life, they are making 700 new neural connections per second
  • Disparities in a child’s vocabulary can begin to appear at 18 months
  • There is a 90% chance of developmental delays when children experience certain risk factors
  • $4-$9 in returns for every dollar invested in early childhood programs

 

For tips and activities on Brain Building in Progress Week follow

@SpeakUnited @MassEarlyEdCare and the hashtag #BBiPWeek on Twitter!

 

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About Brain Building in Progress

The Brain Building in Progress campaign is a public/private partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and a growing community of early  education and child care providers, academic researchers, business and government leaders and community organizations. For more information please visit www.brainbuildinginprogress.org

 

About United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley

One of the region's largest nonprofits, United Way's work ensures that children enter school ready to learn, youth stay engaged in school so they graduate with options for the future, and parents attain financial stability. No other single organization has the scope, expertise, and influence to bring together hundreds of human services agencies, government, businesses, private foundations and dedicated volunteers around a common vision of creating maximum impact and achieving long-lasting results.



[1] Data from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University www.developingchild.harvard.edu/resources