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The Arts

Latchis hosts preview of new PBS documentary on early childhood issues

This free event is sponsored by Let’s Grow Kids and 17 other Vermont organizations and government agencies. For more information, visit www.letsgrowkids.org.

BRATTLEBORO—A preview of a new PBS documentary, “The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation,” is offered on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Latchis Theatre from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

To be released by PBS next spring, “The Raising of America” examines how a strong start for all children leads to greater individual success and a more prosperous and equitable society.

The film will be followed by a community discussion on this national issue. Panelists include Janice Stockman, early- childhood coordinator for the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, and Shirley Sprague, an adoptive parent. The discussion will be moderated by Chloe Leary, executive director of the Winston Prouty Center for Child Development.

“Science tells us that the earliest years are the most critical to our children’s future success, and research has shown that many Vermonters don’t realize this,” said Robyn Freedner-Maguire, director of the Let’s Grow Kids campaign.

“We are sharing the sneak peek of this documentary to jumpstart conversations in communities across the state,” she adds.

Organizers say that, in Vermont, 40 to 50 percent of children are not prepared for kindergarten when they arrive. Thirty-two percent of third-graders are reading below grade level. And 72 percent of Vermont’s children under 6 have all parents in the workforce, which means they are likely spending up to 40 hours per week in someone else’s care.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #277 (Wednesday, October 22, 2014). This story appeared on page B4.

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