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.

Violence and conflict in the home can have detrimental consequences to a developing baby. A child does not have to be the direct recipient of the violence to be a victim. Simply experiencing a toxic home environment can produce negative consequences on a child. The more frequent and the more violent conflicts are, the more susceptible the child will be. The consequences, both physically and psychologically, of a chaotic home environment can last a lifetime.

Last week, Memphis hosted the 57th annual Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children conference. Early childhood educators, researchers and clinicians from across the state came together to learn about early brain development, best practices in early childhood education, and child development from experts in a broad range of fields.

Only 4% of Memphis City Schools seniors are ready for college, based on scoring at least 19 on the ACT, the college entrance exam taken by district seniors. In other words, of 6,774 seniors, only 271 are college ready. It’s a disturbing statistic that speaks to why closing the achievement gap should be a priority for Memphis and Shelby County.

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