The following is a report from Morgan Rogers of The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. The foundation won a challenge grant to launch an information campaign about the need for early childhood education. The effort was recently featured as part of a story on America Public Media's Marketplace.
David Brancaccio of Marketplace and on public radio visited Boulder County recently as part of his latest beat on alternative economic indicators. Inspired by a story that received international headlines last year involving French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s desire for a ‘well-being’ measurement to replace GDP, Brancaccio conducted a national search for efforts already underway in the U.S. that track quality of life. He came across Boulder County TRENDS, a report on 80 key community indicators published biennially by The Community Foundation.
Marketplace was particularly interested in the breadth of TRENDS, including indicators related to demographic changes, access to housing, education, arts and civic life, and on action inspired by the research. The Community Foundation board of trustees selected Boulder County’s academic achievement gap as the most compelling and the most in need of targeted intervention.
After launching a six week awareness campaign, funded by the Knight Community Information Challenge, on the effectiveness of early care and education in preventing the achievement gap, The Community Foundation went on to work with the Boulder Valley School District to carve out a $5 million annual commitment to expanded preschool and kindergarten services for at-risk kids through a proposal on this fall’s ballot.
Read or listen to the story here.