Making a positive impact

At PCG, we take Kidonomics seriously. All the research shows that making strategic investments in early childhood can pay big dividends in school, in the workplace, and throughout life. We were thrilled to talk about it at the Institute for Emerging Issues Focus Forum in February and SXSWedu in March, but even more pleased to back up those words with tangible actions. [More]

PCG sponsors LAUSD Focus Awards

For the past two years, Dr. Brenda Manuel of the Los Angeles Unified School District has joined PCG at a special session on community engagement during the iconic SXSWedu conference in Austin, TX. As she did last year, Dr. Manuel spoke about the Village Movement Mentoring Program where students are connected with members of the community who can serve as guides and cheerleaders for them, and then are expected to take the lessons they learn and mentor their classmates. [More]

Where the Research Meets the Road

Researchers know more about the brain development of young children than ever before. What should that mean for public policy? Some facts: After birth, new connections are made across neurons in babies’ brains at the rate of 700 to 1,000 per second. Three-quarters of young children who experience five or more types trauma measured by the Adverse Childhood Experiences test (ACEs) experience developmental delays. One in four young children live at or below the federal poverty level. Living in poverty can create biomechanical changes in the brain functioning of both children and adults, negatively impacting physical and mental health and executive functioning. Brain scientists know more now than ever before about what happens inside the heads of children during their first years of life, as well as what sorts of inputs help to facilitate desired outcomes. Still, translating this new knowledge into effective public policy often proves to be challenging. [More]

Parent & Child

By supporting programs that work with two generations at a time, United Way for Greater Austin aims to multiply impacts. Leah Newkirk Meunier, chief programs officer at United Way for Greater Austin, did her doctoral work in early childhood development, and she says she has spent her career “preaching the value of investing early” in kids because those investments tend to have the highest payoff. [More]

What is executive function?

When students develop these skills early in life, they set themselves up for future academic and career success. Deb Joffe, an associate manager at PCG, has produced a video for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agency, on executive function and explains what it is and why it is so important for future workforce development. [More]

The Pro-Business Case for Preschool

Young children and their families aren’t the only beneficiaries of early childhood education programs.

Most people would argue that the public and private sectors should invest in early childhood education because it’s the right thing to do.

Not Donnie Charleston. [More]

Screen Time

A group in Albany, New York is promoting early childhood developmental screenings as a way to boost educational outcomes years down the road.

Without early intervention, very young children who show signs of developmental delays tend to enter kindergarten less ready than their peers. Children who lag in kindergarten readiness tend to be less likely to read on grade-level by the end of third grade, and those who do not read on grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. And high school dropouts face a wide array of negative outcomes, including drastically lower lifetime earnings than people who finish school. [More]

Improving the Student Experience

One four-year program in New York City helped change the way high-school boys think about their schools – and about themselves.

Last spring, when seniors at 40 public high schools across New York City walked across the graduation stage, they carried some intangible things along with their diplomas: a sense of belonging in their school communities, meaningful connections with the adults in their buildings, and a tendency to look toward the future.

The Young Men’s Initiative – part of a larger program called the Expanding Success Initiative – launched in 2012. Each of the 40 participating public high schools received $250,000 in funding over three years for the four-year program, which was focused on improving college and career readiness for black and Latino young men. [More]

Learning together, and from each other

When we think of education, we often picture a teacher in a classroom full of neatly ordered rows of desks. Some of the most important learning students do, however, comes from each other. This happens on the playground when students learn to interact as equals, on the ballfield where they learn to win and lose as team, and through programs like the Village Movement Mentoring Program.In school districts around the country, students who take part in PCG’s EPIC summer camp’s public speaking module take turns presenting at least one thing they learned to an audience of their peers, parents, district leaders. In other modules, students learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and team-building skills, and are encouraged to be creative while exercising their problem-solving skills. [More]

Villages, Villagers, and Scholars

Several years ago, Dr. Brenda Manuel, director of the Student Involvement, Development and Empowerment (SIDE) unit of the Los Angeles Unified School District, organized a conference for 400 high school boys of color – delivering workshops, introducing them to role models, and presenting content relevant to their lives. “The young men said, ‘Okay, now you’ve done this for us,” Dr. Manuel recalls. “‘What else are you going to do?’” Dr. Manuel took the boys to another conference, but they pushed for more. “This is not it,” she remembers them saying. “What we need is ongoing support, role models who tell us how and help us to mitigate systems through their life lessons, and then check on us to see that we are making progress.” [More]