Michigan's Children provides the following email templates for you to copy, tweak and share to help influence public policy in Lansing and D.C.
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Posted March 1, 2011
Dear Senator/Representative __________ ,
Two decades of compelling research shows investing in quality early education yields impressive returns in education, health and economic prosperity, yet some 368,000 of the nation’s most vulnerable infants, toddlers and preschoolers may soon be stripped of early learning services.
Here in Michigan, it could mean the loss of as many as 13,000 child care slots, 1,723 Early Head Start slots, and 304 Head Start slots. Not only would that wipe out the modest gains made in recent years, the ripple effects on working parents would be felt immediately, and the damage – on educational success, on local crime, on a prepared workforce – could extend for years.
I urge you to reject devastating legislation being proposed to cut these funds and instead support a bill that at least maintains the modest gains made in recent years in critical federal programs and support locally-run organizations.
Yes, it’s time to budget responsibly, the way families budget – by putting the well-being of our children first.
(Your name and city)
Posted February 16, 2011
Dear Senator/Representative _________,
I am writing to encourage your support of the cradle-to-career approach to education and a P-20 (prenatal to age 20) Council to oversee and direct its application. Research shows that education begins long before kindergarten, with 90 percent of the brain’s intellectual and emotional hardwiring set in the first five years. Furthermore, education does not occur in a vacuum – a child’s ability to learn is handicapped when they are abused, neglected, hungry, sick, or stressed about their family’s financial situation.
Sadly, many of Michigan’s children are facing these obstacles to learning and that poses hazards not only for the children, but also for the state’s economic future. The new Kids Count in Michigan Data Book finds over 20 percent of children ages 0-17 are living in poverty, nearly 30 percent of babies born in 2008 had less than adequate prenatal care, and there were 30,799 victims of child abuse and neglect in 2009, up 25 percent since 2000.
As we rebuild Michigan’s future and lay the path to economic recovery we cannot forget the growing number of children whose current struggles will present obstacles to becoming the skilled, educated workers we need.
A P-20 Council would develop and oversee a prenatal to adulthood education system built on a partnership of resources from a variety of sectors.
P-20 councils or task forces operating in 38 other states are finding success in joining the many factors that influence a child’s ability to learn – health, safety, economic security, and more – to overcome barriers and challenges facing many of our children and families. Recognizing that education starts long before kids enter school and that education is not isolated from these other factors, the councils utilize a coordinated approach to align programming, funding and expectations by identifying, creating, incentivizing and supporting interagency, public/private partnerships toward an end goal of educational and workforce success for all young people.
I ask that you support legislation establishing in law a P-20 Council, providing resources to support it, and broadly defining its role to maximize leveraging opportunities so we can give Michigan’s children and Michigan’s economy the best chance of success.
(Your name and city here)