Over the years, I’ve started many workshops for parents and child care providers with a simple brainstorm activity. I ask, “What are your dreams for your children, or for the children in your child care?” I’ve completed this activity more than twenty times. Every time, the answers are the same: independence, love, safety, relationships.
This has been an important lesson for me. All people, no matter how diverse, have the same basic dreams for the young children in their lives.
But here in New Haven, many children don’t get the kind of start any of us would hope for. More than a third of kids in our city live in poverty (37.3 percent, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey). Close to twenty percent of children in our county were “food insecure” in 2011—meaning that they lacked consistent access to adequate food.
New Haven children are also far…
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