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Investing in our children~ Letter to the Rutland Herald 11~20~14

Investing in our children
November 20,2014

I have been working and raising my family in Rutland for the past 26 years. I am invested in the well-being of our community. I see the success of our community being dependent on the time and resources we invest in our children and families.

I am encouraged by the positive and preventative steps being taken around Vermont and Rutland through endeavors such as Project VISION and a focus on positive early childhood experiences. A child’s future success and the success of a future generation of community members is shaped during their early years. Considering the fact that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first five years, what happens during these early years has a huge impact on a child’s future. Actions that impact early childhood experiences build a foundation (strong or weak) for a lifetime of cognitive, physical and social emotional growth.

By providing interactive positive learning environments or opportunities and access to positive resources (such as good nutrition and healthy relationships) we are making an investment in our families that yields great returns. For every $1 invested in the first five years of life, there is a $7 return. Our actions, such as supporting the development of a children’s museum, volunteering or mentoring with youth, or donating food items, are investments that strengthen our economy, build a more productive workforce, and nurture the future leaders of our community.

We have a tremendous opportunity for the future of Vermont. Please do not underestimate the value of your potential actions and the impact of positive relationships that you can share with our families.

SUSANNE F. ENGELS

(Board member,Wonderfeet Museum, and principal, Northeast Primary School)
Rutland

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