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Every Child Matters

ROANOKE TIMES - Op/Ed Piece

by Maria Ferrone; Director of Government Programs Honeytree Early Learning Center

Young children hold the key to our future.  Their young minds will one day be capable of creating breakthrough technologies and amazing scientific advancements.  One day these children will possess the abilities and talents to change our world.   Those of us who work with young children are privileged and honored to play a part in the opportunity to get them started on their path to greatness.  You might be asking yourself, “How does all this “greatness” happen”?

It’s simple really.  Great teachers help create great students!  Research has shown that a teacher who is inspired and informed is one of the most important factors influencing a child’s achievement and overall success into adulthood.  Ongoing professional development keeps teachers up-to-date on new research regarding how children learn, emerging technology that helps children and teachers, new curriculum resources, local and state initiatives, public policies, the Quality Rating and Improvement System for preschools and childcare centers, and Virginia’s Milestones of Child Development.

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Early childhood education is critical to our community's future economic well being. It's a question of pay-now or pay-later. Research indicates that if children are prepared when they start school and reading on grade level in their early years, they're far more likely to stay on track and finish school rather than become a costly drain on the community's social service system. Those who finish school are much more likely to become contributing members of our workforce.

Joyce Waugh, CEcD
President, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce

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The United Way of Roanoke Valley serves as the fiscal agent for Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke.

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