Over 300 San Diego community members including educators, doctors, advocates, business colleagues and other leaders gathered at the beautiful new San Diego Central Library for a sneak preview of the PBS documentary “Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of the Nation” and a moderated panel discussion.
The League of Women Voters of San Diego took the lead in planning this event along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Care Planning Council, First Five San Diego, the YMCA, the For Our Babies campaign and many others *(see complete list of 20+ sponsors below). Donations covered a lovely hosted reception before the screening as well as coffee and dessert after, all catered by the Art Institute of California San Diego Culinary Institute. Each attendee was given a complimentary copy of “For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants.”
A moderated panel discussion after the sneak preview included Congresswoman Susan A. Davis, 53rd Congressional District, California, U.S. House of Representatives; Suzanne Flint, Library Programs Consultant, California State Library; Pradeep Gidwani, M.D., M.P. H. of the America Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 3; and Teresa Wolownik, Senior Director of Benefits and Health Services, Qualcomm Incorporated. Participants wrote questions for the panel on cards found in their folder of information from the sponsoring organizations. The questions were collected and drawn upon for the panel discussion. A big takeaway was that we know too much to not take action. Congresswoman Susan A. Davis said it very simply “The public needs to be more demanding and ask (legislators) the question of why aren’t you passing laws to help our children?”
Raising of America Launch Events are being planned right now nationwide. You can find a current list of launch event locations on their website. Knowing that the For Our Babies campaign has pledge signatures from people in every single state saying they agree that we must promote healthier beginnings for all babies in the U.S., we are asking advocates to see how they can participate and help make each of the events successful (or if one isn’t planned in your state consider planning an event yourself! Find information on the Raising of America website).
Take a look at the list of who is planning an event in your area and connect with them. Tell them about forourbabies.org and our participation in the San Diego event. Ask them to consider For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants as a resource for participants. This book is a really nice companion to the Raising of America documentary. It is chock-full of research as well as includes a full chapter devoted to recommended supports and services for babies and their families (by the way, this chapter is available for free download). Invite participants at the launch events to read the For Our Babies book and host a discussion with others. Upon request Bookclubs or discussion groups may schedule a Q & A Skype conversation with the author, Dr. Lally, himself!
We really hope you will participate in this large scale movement to engage the public all across the U.S. in conversation about early childhood. If you want more information and/or would like to talk about these or other ideas, please contact Julie Weatherston at [email protected].
Let’s be more demanding about babies and get laws passed to help them!
*Co-Sponsors for the San Diego launch event included: The League of Women Voters of San Diego, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Care and Development Planning Council, First 5 San Diego, For Our Babies, The Art Institute of California San Diego, Educational Enrichment Systems, Reach Out and Read San Diego, Child Development Associates, Inc, Ninth District PTA, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood, San Diego Regional Chamber, YMCA Childcare Resource Service, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, South Bay Community Services, Early Edge California, San Diego Public Library, San Diego Chapter Brady Campaign, Results, Qualcomm, Inc, Kaplan Early Learning Company, Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee [MAAC] and Education Synergy Alliance.