Board of Advisors - June 16, 2017

Leaders from the business, education and faith communities in the Treasure Coast came together last Friday to discuss ways to help make Florida the best state in the nation for our youngest children.

The first meeting of The Children's Movement's new Treasure Coast Board of Advisors took place in Port St. Lucie, where members talked about how to increase the quality of early learning, educate business leaders on the link between early learning and the workforce, and engage legislators on issues affecting our state's most vulnerable population - children.

Board member Candice Loupe, regional manager of PNC Bank, suggested getting more businesses involved, stressing the impact that a quality early childhood education can have on future employees.

"We have a population not qualified for the current jobs," noted board member Elliot Paul, owner of Elliot Paul & Company Auctions. "Early learning helps the business community, but we need organizations like The Children's Movement of Florida to communicate to business leaders."

Board member Tiffany Justice, who is on the Indian River County School Board, said it's also important to reach out to local legislators. "Most legislators do not see how crucial early childhood is," she said.

"We all need to advocate for this" in Tallahassee, said Hope Woodhouse, first vice president of John's Island Community Service League. "Our (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) reimbursement is one of the lowest in the country."

The board plans to hold two more meetings by the end of the year. For more information about the board's work or early childhood issues in the Treasure Coast, please contact me.

Thank you.

Michael C. Hadee
Outreach and Engagement Coordinator