organization asks parents to pledge allegiance to their children's education

 About 2,000 days pass from when a child is born to the moment he or she enters kindergarten. Officials from The Centers for Families & Children believe every one of those days is critical in preparing a child's educational future, and have created a new campaign to back up that point.

The 2,000 Day Pledge asks parents already involved with The Centers to keep their kids in an early learning program for as many days as possible within the first 2,000 days of that child's life. It also requests parents choose a high-performing elementary school compatible with their young student's learning needs, with graduation from high school being the long-term goal.

Those 2,000 days are a window to prepare children for success in school and life, says Sharon Sobol Jordan, president and CEO of The Centers. "We have this same amount of time with our parents to help them get ready to be good advocates for their children," she says.

Kids who enter kindergarten lacking a solid educational foundation are at risk of falling behind peers who have those advantages, says Amy Martin, the organization's vice president of marketing and communications.

"The gap widens in elementary school, and by high school you start to see the drop-out rate rise," says Martin.

While the new campaign is mostly aimed at existing clients, The Centers' officials hope word about the pledge spreads to expectant mothers and other members of the community.  In addition, The Centers doesn't just ask parents to pledge, but considers the campaign a shared commitment between itself and participants.

"We want to help parents fight for the education of their children," Martin says. "We're partners with them every step of the way."
SOURCE: Sharon Sobol Jordan, Amy Martin
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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