As parents, we enjoy watching our children grow, change, learn, and develop into their own. We make sure they get the essentials such as education, nutrition and love, and try to give them anything above and beyond that help would give them a head start. Children with a head start are lucky, one might even call it being privileged, and are uniquely positioned to flourish and reach their potential.
But getting a head start, or being privileged, looks different to different people. For some, it may mean exposing their children to culture with visits to museums and listening to classical music. For some it may mean starting very early, stimulating their unborn child with music and speaking as they have read that it can produce smarter, better adjusted children.
We know that children who have parents involved in their education, and who grow up in stimulating home environments, are more likely to graduate and become self-sufficient adults than those who don’t. A head start. Parents who are themselves educated, read more with their children and use less physical punishment. Another head start.
Conversely, we know that poverty and early childhood traumas rob children of opportunities to get a head start.
At BFF, we often talk about leveling the playing field for the kids we work with. We say it often in meetings and when we are advocating for something they need because we truly believe their life experiences, and the way they live, warrant it. We believe that they were not lucky enough to get any head starts, and thus lack opportunities that other children may have.
There are many tools and techniques we have found to be effective at breaking down the roadblocks to learning, giving all children an equal chance at school success, but the first and most important step is to recognize and acknowledge that there is in fact a gap in opportunities, and it is our job to level the playing field.
If you take the next 4 minutes to watch this video, you will know exactly what we are talking about. After that, you should feel good about yourself, because if you read this blog and watched this video, you are one of the people who cares enough to help us make a difference! Watch the video here!