I have spent almost 40 years in courtrooms hearing the life stories of men and women convicted of crimes. I also listen to expert psychological testimony about the developmental causes of their behavior.
For almost a decade, my work at The Urban Child Institute has involved extensive research on early childhood development, from the importance of prenatal care to the benefits of shared book reading for kindergarten readiness, and just about everything in between.
Even for the most prepared parents, raising a healthy and happy child is one of life’s major challenges. Having the ability to check off commonly accepted parenting prerequisites — a quality education, a good job, mental and emotional stability, a safe home — can make the challenge easier to tackle and overcome.
As a prekindergarten teacher for Shelby County Schools, I have firsthand experience with the school readiness problem in our community. I have kids who begin the year not knowing how to spell their names, and some who don’t know a single letter of the alphabet.
Advancing their commitment to provide resources to help Memphis and Shelby County children reach their full potential, The Urban Child Institute recently opened the first module of the Early Advantage Brain Awareness Exhibit at the Pink Palace Museum.