Every Child Matters and The Raising of America

This week, Every Child Matters in Iowa and the Child and Family Policy Center co-sponsored a viewing of the documentary, “The Raising of America”.  Approximately eighty community members, child advocates, and early childhood professionals attended the viewing and participated in a panel discussion.

The “Raising of America” explored the well-being of children in the United States, particularly the developing brains of our children and identifying the importance of nurturing environments to support the growing brain.  Unfortunately, policies do not align with what is best for our kids.  Such things as quality, affordable child care and paid leave were identified in the film.

The following panelists joined us: Representatives Gaines (D-Des Moines) and Koester (R-Ankeny), Susie Guest (Des Moines Public Schools), Dr. Amy Shriver (Blank Children’s Hospital), and Leslie Stonehocker (Child Care Resource and Referral).  The diverse perspective enhanced the interactive discussion with the audience.

The panelists were passionate discussing the issues impacting our kids.  Conversations occurred around Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) and the importance to identify the impact of toxic stress on young, developing brains.

A topic of interest to a number of people in the room, was the process to move advocacy efforts forward to create change.  Providing valuable insight were the two legislators.  Representative Gaines talked about engaging legislators on the local level, invite them to your program, show them firsthand how people are impacted by policy.  Representative Koester echoed Gaines comments.  Koester added voters should vote based on what they see on the ballot and to be engaged in the process.  Gaines recommended to the audience to be an “educated voter”.

The legislator’s comments echo the importance for Every Child Matters to continue our work in Iowa – to engage the voters on the important issues impacting our kids and families.  The Iowa Primaries are fast approaching and you can identify the issues you care about when you vote on June 7th!

Upcoming Events

  • Don’t Forget!  Next week, the Kiwanis Club of Des Moines will host Dr. Wil Blechman, May 31-June 2, to talk about the relationship between brain development and nutrition to a child’s development. CLICK HERE to RSVP and learn more about the event.
  • VOTE!  The primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, June 7thCLICK HERE to find your polling location.