We want to thank everyone who has helped support Family Services as we continue to provide critical programs to families, children, and individuals in our community, many of whom have been directly affected by COVID-19.
The pandemic has laid bare social and racial inequities in our community that existed long before the virus struck. These inequities fall especially hard on families with young children from communities of color and/or that have limited resources. That’s why, in 2014, Family Services convened The Pre-K Priority, a group of representatives from twenty organizations that provide, support, or fund early learning programs in our community. Our goal is to provide every four-year-old child in Forsyth County with the opportunity to attend a high-quality Pre-K program. We have drawn on our collective experience, commissioned local studies and surveys, and examined the extensive body of research to identify how Forsyth County can achieve this goal.
At this time, further progress toward this goal requires that our local elected officials—County Commissioners, the City Council, and the Board of Education—establish a community Early Childhood Education Task Force to develop both near-term and long-term plans for increasing the availability of high-quality Pre-K programs in Forsyth County. Elected officials in other urban counties have already done this, as long as five years ago in Durham County. As a result, Durham, Mecklenburg, Guilford, and Buncombe Counties have all made significant local investments in high-quality Pre-K.
The Pre-K Priority considers this election year a critical time for the future of the education of young children in our community. That’s why we have launched a campaign to persuade our local elected officials, County Commissioners, City Council members, and members of the Board of Education, to do something that other urban counties in North Carolina did years ago: To establish a Community Early Childhood Education Task Force to develop both near-term and long-term plans for increasing the availability of high-quality Pre-K programs in Forsyth County.
You can help.
You can sign the Pre-K pledge Pre-K Pledge at prekpriority.org/#pledge. You can encourage the leadership of the organization you work for, or are a member of, to contact us to sign a Declaration of Support. You can send an e-mail, write a letter, or call an elected official to let them know that it’s long overdue for our county to formally, officially commit to developing an action plan for achieving educational equity for all our children.
If you’d like to be part of our campaign, you can join us by contacting Leslie Mullinix, Pre-K Priority Project Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are enough of you, we will surely succeed.
Robert J. Feikema
President & CEO, Family Services