Hall of Fame baseball player Harmon Killebrew told a story about how his father kept his eye on the ball when it came to raising his children. "My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard," Killebrew said. "Mother would come out and say, 'You're tearing up the grass.' 'We're not raising grass,' Dad would reply. 'We're raising boys.'"
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There is much that parents can do to provide the greatest opportunities for their son or daughter right from birth. In Memphis, many of our children are already at a disadvantage in learning before they even step through the schoolroom door. Only 42 percent of our city's children arrive at kindergarten prepared to learn. And studies show that when a child starts behind, he will probably stay behind.
The baby announcements have been sent out. You’ve gotten the hang of that tricky car seat. And now all you can think about is... sleep. While you may not be thinking any farther than that next nap, believe it or not, your baby’s brain is way ahead of you. That’s right, amidst those cries, feedings, and photo-worthy coos, your baby’s brain is making vital, critical connections and developments that will determine how ready they are for their first day in kindergarten.
The annual observance of Memorial Day serves as a gentle reminder that summer is right around the corner.
During this time of year, adults and children of all ages relish thoughts of long-awaited opportunities to enjoy extended periods of daylight, playtime, rest and relaxation.
Through my work and involvement with The Urban Child Institute, I have learned that during the first three years of a child's life, family, home environment, and interactions with adults are the major factors in shaping the mental foundation for learning. Making the most of children's early upbringing has the potential to improve education and health and decrease poverty and unemployment – issues that are of great interest to me as someone who is concerned about the future of our community and our country.