Organization looks to better childhood education and development

JACKSON, Tenn. — One organization is looking to better childhood development and education across West Tennessee, and they need your help.

“It’s really important for us to hear from our community as we’re making decisions for our community,” said Olivia Abernathy, Director of Early Education Initiatives for the United Way of West Tennessee.

The United Way of West Tennessee is teaming up with ‘Tennesseans for Quality Early Education’ to start a new initiative called “Bright Start TN.”

“Our task is to build and create a strategic plan to address gaps in early care and education for kids 0 to 8,” said Abernathy.

Organizers held a Town Hall with the community to see what are some issues that can be worked on.

“How to garner family engagement around education, how to get parents to recognize the need for quality education and teaching them at home, figuring out ways to bridge the gap between school and home, looking at making sure that families have access to resources,” said Abernathy.

While education was an important topic discussed, so was the cost of child care.

“Addressing affordability for child care and making sure that policies are in place that take down barriers that families have to getting the resources that they need,” said Abernathy.

With this information organizers will put together a plan of action.

“By June of this year, we will draft a strategic plan to address these issues,” said Abernathy.

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