New Year's Resolution: Baby Small Changes

The most important story on television and radio these days isn't on the news broadcasts.

Rather, it's the commercial with this message: The most important change Memphis needs is Baby Small.

Of course, we're prejudiced. It is after all our new radio and TV campaign message. We've undertaken this campaign because early childhood brain development has to be at the top of our priority list as a community. It drives everything that matters: our community's economic growth, poverty rate, achievement gap, educational attainment, workforce, talent, crime rate, and more.

In other words, it should be a core issue for educators, criminologists, social workers, employers, community organizers, CEOs, elected officials, the faith-based community, and anyone who has high aspirations for Memphis. As our spot says, it's all about the way that the smallest things - babies – can make the biggest difference in our community and its future.

Here's the challenge: 12,000 new babies are born here each year and we know that the first three years are crucial for brain development. In other words, our hopes and dreams for Memphis rest in large part of how well we do in giving 36,000 babies and infants their best starts in life. Surely a community that empowers a company to deliver 10 million packages a day to every corner of the globe can also join hands to ensure that their own children have the best brain development opportunities.

We wrote earlier this year that Memphis appears to be at the tipping point when it comes to early childhood development, and that's why we started our Baby Small campaign. We want to accelerate that tipping point because the consequences of inaction are too great and the actions needed are so easy.

Because you receive these bi-monthly commentaries, we consider you as part of our growing strike force armed with the facts to advocate and lead on early childhood brain development. Please watch our spot and post it to your Facebook page, tweet it, and email it to your friends and family so we can be known nationally as the city fighting to give every child their best chances in life.

As we approach a new year, there's no better resolution than this.