SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – After the worst days of COVID-19, the pandemic has exposed some of the injustices of society such as access to health care and the internet and economic wellbeing.
One of the most notable is education.
To meet the basic need for quality education, Northern Louisiana Community Foundation urges residents and businesses to raise funds to provide access to early childhood education programs.
“Early childhood education is critical to a young person’s brain development,” said Kristi Gustavson, executive director of the Community Foundation. “We now know from research that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops before the age of 5, especially language development between the ages of 0 and 5 is crucial.”
The Community Foundation hopes to raise $ 800,000 for early childhood education in the Bossier ward. The organization is seeking generous community members to donate $ 360,000. If that goal is achieved, the Community Foundation will add $ 40,000 and request a dollar-for-dollar match from the state.
“This year the state of Louisiana started a fund to give dollars to communities that raise funds,” said Gustavson.
Earlier, Gustavson said the Community Foundation helped raise $ 1 million for Caddo Parish families to gain access to early childhood education.
“In autumn 2019, 60 percent of the children who started school in the Bossier community were not ready for kindergarten,” according to the Community Foundation. However, the benefits of early childhood education extend beyond the child.
“It also helps mom and dad to go to work or school, and it has economic implications and benefits for the privately run daycare,” explains Gustavson.
Copyright 2021 KSLA. All rights reserved.