Author Archives: juliacwitten

The most important call you’ll ever make

Margaret MeadGuest-blogger and Director of 4C Kentucky Services Julie Witten shares her thoughts on the role of early childhood professionals in advocating for children.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead was on to something when she noted the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Despite this time of often sensationalized election coverage, it is important to remember what the democratic process—and the role of our elected officials—is really all about.

Elected officials are chosen by the people to represent the people and are answerable to those who elected them. You may think that your opinion or your voice doesn’t matter or can’t make a difference once someone is elected. In fact, quite the opposite is true. All elected officials offer a variety of ways (phone, email or in person) for you to contact them, but first you need to know what legislative district you live in. To find your legislator in Kentucky click here and in Ohio click here. This video shows just how easy it is to make a call to your legislator!

The Kentucky and Ohio state legislatures are in session now and representatives are making big decisions. So, this is a perfect time to contact your legislator about issues that are important to you.

What do you say? Is it important to you that families have access to child care assistance funding? Would you like to see additional incentives for providers in STARS for KIDS NOW in Kentucky or Step Up To Quality in Ohio? What supports would help your small business to thrive? If these or any other issues rise to the top of your list, contact your representative.

And, if you would like to see what statewide advocates for children and families are asking for, take a look at the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children or Groundwork Ohio.

Remember, it’s the duty of each elected official to listen to his or her constituents, the people who reside in his or her district. Each time you call or email, your exact words are registered on a green slip and the legislator reviews these each day.

Let your voice be heard. Your opinion matters!

Teachers Matter

There are two boys from the same urban neighborhood, who are in the same grade at different schools. One leaves his fifth grade year testing way above his grade level, along with 90% of his classmates. The other boy finished below grade level, just like he started. Why the difference? Not the curriculum or the school, but the teacher.

Teach for America, which places recent college grads in teaching positions in urban school settings, has the proof that the teacher makes a difference. Studying over 20 years of data, the program identifies characteristics such as history of perseverance, life satisfaction, and leadership achievement as contributors to exceptional teachers. Simply put, we must “identify great teachers, figure out how they got that way, and then create more of them.”  See more here about how children get ahead because of great teachers.