The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of our Nation

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October 16, 2015

The U.S. is a can-do nation. So why has child wellbeing in the U.S. fallen to 26th out of 29 nations? How does what Paul Kershaw calls the “growing squeeze” on parents and caregivers for time, money, and resources alter the architecture of the developing brain of our infants? What are the potential consequences for individual learning, earning, and mental and physical health? For the future health, prosperity, and equity of the nation? And how might we do better? These are some of the questions that are explored in the signature episode of the five-part documentary series, The Raising of America.

CFRP hosted a screening of the powerful signature episode on October 15, 2015 at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, with special guest Dr. Libby Doggett. The RSVP list was impressive and ranged from education leaders from teachers to superintendents; staff and directors of high-level non-profit organizations, state policymakers and program leaders; researchers and professors from multiple disciplines; and our future leaders, graduate students.

CFRP Director Dr. Cynthia Osborne asked Dr. Libby Doggett about the challenges and successes our country has had in early childhood as well as what future policies may look like. Dr. Doggett then challenged each attendee to not just be inspired by what they saw in The Raising of America, but to take action.

Dr. Doggett asked what ideas the audience had to influence and spur change in how our country and society care for our children and families. Responses included stressing the importance of actually turning up to vote in local and state elections, especially by our younger generations; partnering with business leaders not just for funding but to influence at the policy level; and pushing education leaders to get active and involved in the legislative process.

We thank Dr. Doggett for all her amazing work and for inspiring us with her passion and skills to make real impact on family and education policy.

For more about The Raising of America, as well as related early childhood briefs and materials from the Child and Family Research Partnership, please see resource list below.

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