Submitted by Christi Lein on Fri, 02/17/2012 - 17:39
I am a person who follows current events. I like to know what's going on in the world. However there are some events that I just do not have time to really understand. I'd like to know more about them, I don't have the time to research them, and I don't know anyone close enough to me to shed light on it for me. This is how I felt about Occupy Wall Street. I understood the basic premise but did not have any depth or details, therefore I did not have an opinion one way or another.
A few weeks ago I had the great fortune of listening to Michael Stone speak. The lecture was called "Yoga for an Anxious Time." During the lecture he started to speak about Occupy which he was a part of in New York and Toronto. It was interesting to hear about it from someone who was there, who was a part of it. What struck me most from his presentation was that sometimes solutions to big problems come in a most unexpected way.
Then just last week a very interesting article came across my desk. It was in relation to the Occupy Wall Street and Preschool. The author, Nicholas Kristof wrote this in the article Occupy the Classroom: "Occupy Wall Street is shining a useful spotlight on one of America’s central challenges, the inequality that leaves the richest 1 percent of Americans with a greater net worth than the entire bottom 90 percent. Most of the proposed remedies involve changes in taxes and regulations, and they would help. But the single step that would do the most to reduce inequality has nothing to do with finance at all. It’s an expansion of early childhood education."
Kristof goes on to explain the huge gaps between rich and poor children begin before kindergarten, but widen in school. Preschool is expensive, and when you don't have the money to pay for it in Alberta your children simply miss out. That's where ABC Head Start comes in. We provide that experience and support for families living on limited incomes for no cost. We open that door for children and families that otherwise would have been closed. We lessen the gap these inequalities have created.
I urge you to read the rest of Nicholas Kristof's article by clicking on the title above. I will close with his words, "...the question isn’t whether we can afford early childhood education, but whether we can afford not to provide it. We can pay for prisons or we can pay, less, for early childhood education to help build a fairer and more equitable nation."