Four Words that Change Lives

In numerous ways every day, with your help, we search for just the right words to engage more of the public and to make them understand the importance of brain development for the future of our children - and our community. What would our youngest children want us to say that everyone will hear and remember? Four words: Touch, Talk, Read, Play.

Infographic: Low Birth Weight

The months a baby spends in the womb, along with the first 12 months after birth, are arguably the most important time of all for brain development. During this period, brain cells called neurons are forming connection with each other, creating the networks that underlie thinking, learning and feeling. Low birth weight can disrupt early brain development. Low birth weight babies are at increased risk for developmental problems related to physical health, psychological adjustment, and intellectual functioning.

It's never been truer than it is today that hard skills will get you an interview but soft skills will get the job for you and enable you to keep it. As with so many other individual skill sets, the foundation for these soft skills is best laid in the earliest years of a child's life. More and more, businesses don't see a college degree as a guarantee that someone has the skills for success.

No one in our community should care more about optimal brain development for our youngest children than our business leaders. Their competitiveness, their profits, their tax burdens, and ultimately, their corporate futures depend on it. The fact is that there are no economic strategies that pay greater returns on investment than strategies to give every child a fair start in life.

Home visting programs help promote positive parenting behaviors in order to promote a healthy home environment. These programs can help prevent child neglect or abuse. In Memphis specifically, the Nurse-Family Partnership home visiting program has reduced health care encounters by 28% and hospitalizations for injuries of young children by 79%. The Nurse-Family Partnership program is just one of many home visiting programs.


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