About this Study

Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) is completing its latest community inquiry, Children 1-2-3: Early Learning for Future Success. This community engagement process has been examining the question, "How can Jacksonville best foster early learning success for children from birth to age 3 in our community?" Over the course of the process (October 2011 through April 2012), the meeting schedule, meeting summaries, key handouts and relevant articles have all been posted here. To find out more, please email tonia@jcci.org.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

EDI: Benefits to Children, Families and Communities

If you are unable to view the video please click the link to go directly to You Tube.

Monday, January 23, 2012

No time to cut back: Funding early education now will pay off later

The Educators' Task Force in Battle Creek Michigan recognized a year ago that preparing the community's children for academic success required a whole child, whole community approach.

"The Battle Creek Educators' Task Force launched its whole child initiative a little more than a year ago, seeking to bring together multiple resources to better prepare children to succeed in school. It is a long-term effort designed to supplement early education programs by addressing non-school factors such as health and family needs. It has the potential to significantly affect our community's future by helping families embrace the importance of education and encourage their children to take full advantage of academic opportunities." Read the rest of this article.

For more information about the Battle Creek Initiative visit the Task Force Web Page.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Here are two interesting articles you may find relevant, one about the impact of poverty and the other regarding the bleak future we face if our children are not properly educated.

A Poverty Solution That Starts With A Hug
Perhaps the most widespread peril that children face isn't guns, swimming pools, or speeding cars. Rather scientist are suggesting that it may be "toxic stress" early in life, or even before birth.

Snoozing Through National Threat
A dangerous enemy threatens America. This threat is hard to confront, because it does not represent any one government and is not in any one location; it operates in smaller cells all over. If not stopped, it is sure to inflict violence on the country, decimate cities and alter our way of life. I'm not talking about al-Qaida, but about another menace just as dangerous as a terrorist in the long run: The utter failure to educate today's kids, tomorrow's adults.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success

Education accessible to all
Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality. In the Finnish view this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.

Creative play vs. rote memorization
Compared with the stereotype of the East Asian model -- long hours of exhaustive cramming and rote memorization -- Finland's success is especially intriguing because Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in more creative play.

No private education
Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D.

Elevating the teaching profession
(In) Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. A master's degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal's responsibility to notice and deal with it.

Policy vs. Ethnicity
Samuel Abrams, a visiting scholar at Columbia University's Teachers College, has addressed the effects of size and homogeneity on a nation's education performance by comparing Finland with another Nordic country: Norway. Like Finland, Norway is small and not especially diverse overall, but unlike Finland it has taken an approach to education that is more American than Finnish. The result? Mediocre performance in the PISA survey. Educational policy, Abrams suggests, is probably more important to the success of a country's school system than the nation's size or ethnic makeup.

Investing in people
What's more, despite their many differences, Finland and the U.S. have an educational goal in common. When Finnish policymakers decided to reform the country's education system in the 1970s, they did so because they realized that to be competitive, Finland couldn't rely on manufacturing or its scant natural resources and instead had to invest in a knowledge-based economy.

Read the entire article at

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Netanyahu pledges free toddler education in fall

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday reiterated his promise that pre-school education will become free for children ages three and four already for the start of the school year in the fall.

“This is a mission of national importance, at the top of our priorities. We will find the sources [to fund this] and all government ministries will pitch in,” Netanyahu said.

“This is a law that has been legislated in the past but was never implemented,” the prime minister added.

Currently, only children 5-years-old and above receive free education, and families struggle to pay for daycare and kindergarten for children under that age.

“Families spend thousands of shekels on private kindergartens and we will act to correct this situation,” Netanyahu said.

The state “will subsidize every child over 3-years-old by 800 shekels. I know this will make education free,” the prime minister said. “Additionally, we will build more than 2,000 kindergartens and daycare facilities which will answer the needs of an additional 30,000 children.”

Read the entire article at...