Wednesday, July 01, 2009
I went to the Early Learning Advocacy Day in Sacramento earlier this month and I was proud to wear 3 hats, one from Little Tokyo Service Center's Child Development program, the Asian and Pacific Islanders California Action Network, and as parent of a 4 year old preschooler. The morning was a mixture of speakers in the ECE field, parents, business community, and politicians. I learned that California is now 47th in the nation in per child spending, and will soon be 49th. We learned about updates on several bills and legislation.
I also sat up and listened when Carl Guardino from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group talked about the tale of two "states," the "haves and have nots" and the 3.1 million Latino/a children and their high school exit stats vs. white children. His advice to show how we in early childhood education "add value to the State of California" was a very clear message. I was also inspired by Kris Perry, the ED of First 5 California, who spoke about the "children who need preschool the most, don't have access to it."
We also spent the morning preparing for our legislative visits in the afternoon, my first time... my group went to visit Assemblymember John Perez' office. We had 3 parents from Boyle Heights in our group and it was wonderful to hear their stories and share in their first visit to Sacramento.
Overall, being part of close to 400 people from all over the state coming together was really special. The day helped me reflect on our infant toddler program in downtown LA and our preschool in Echo Park/Angelina Heights and feel proud about the work that we are doing with children and parents in our Family Literacy program.