“As a business leader, I have read the return-on investment reports showing that high-quality early learning is one of the smartest investments any state can make." Jeff Geiger, President of the Bath Iron Works (Farewell editorial as printed in The Times Record, dated November 7th, 2013)
Washington and Hancock Counties in Downeast Maine are home to some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, bountiful harvests of seafood, blueberries, evergreen wreathes, moose and wondrous wildlife, and amazingly industrious and resilient people.
They are also home to high levels of poverty. In Hancock County 19 percent of children are living in households with incomes below the federal poverty level. In Washington County over 31 percent of children are living in households with incomes below the federal poverty level. Outcomes for these children could be bleak considering the economic challenges facing them as they start down their paths in life.
But that doesn't have to be the story. For a little investment, a whole lot of good can be cultivated to assure that these children have a better chance to earn higher wages as an adult, avoid negative interactions with law enforcement, go to college, own their own homes, and contribute to the tax base. Essentially, the cycle of poverty can be broken.
While there are many investments capable of breaking the cycle of poverty, there is one repeatedly proven to be affordable, with immediate and long term benefits, and a strong return on the investment dollar. That investment is high quality early education.
By donating to this campaign, you will support services that develop a child’s everyday effectiveness in dealing with his or her future responsibilities in school and in life. The children and families in our centers receive comprehensive services that include education, health, nutrition, social services, kindergarten transition activities, and parent involvement, and all investments help assure that this high quality early education is accessible to the Downeast communities and families that benefit deeply from these services both now, and in the future.
If not for all of these reasons above, please take a moment to remember your most important teacher who helped you along the way. In honor of them, and of all the children who deserve a great chance to achieve great things in life, please consider supporting this campaign today. Thank you!!!