Document 59609

A commissioner’s perspective
Janet E. Jackson !
President and CEO !
of the United Way !
of Central Ohio!
Investing in early education programs pays significant dividends over the
long term: children who enter school ready to succeed tend to be more
successful in grade school, are less likely to drop out of school, and earn
more as adults (Brookings Institute). Not only does an investment in early
child education help to reduce future costs for the community, it also
helps to ensure Columbus has a strong and well prepared workforce. A
long term investment in early child education will help to better position
the community regionally, nationally and internationally for development
opportunities. !
In other words, if we significantly improve levels of school readiness, we
are likely to improve the economic and social well-being of the
community, as well as the individual child.!
We have a lot of good to build on in Columbus. United Way of Central
Ohio, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Learn4Life, nonprofit agencies
and neighborhood programs, the faith community, local government, and
local schools are working with families and helping children get ready for
We have much to do but, thankfully, we have the foundation, the
knowledge, and the will to meet the needs of our children. We need to
build capacity, align our approaches, and make early childhood a clear
focus for all.!
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