|By Joe Tolan|
Recently the New York Times published a powerful story - “ Oklahoma! Where the Kids Learn Early” - that clearly demonstrates the results we can achieve in early education when we help ensure that all children enter kindergarten ready to learn.
By providing every 4 year old in the state with free access to a year of high-quality prekindergarten, along with even younger children from disadvantaged homes access to nursery school and parent coaching, the success of Oklahoma’s program is described as a huge jump start for their kids and, by helping break the cycle of poverty, an investment not only in their kids but in their future. In fact, it’s estimated the gains are so significant that the benefits will outweigh the costs by at least a ratio of 3 to 1.
I urge all of us to support early childhood education programs – our future depends on it.
Joe Tolan is the President and CEO of Metro United Way. A native of New York City, Joe pursued a career in social work and earned his masters degree in Social Work from Loyola University. He’s been with Metro United Way since the mid-80’s where he served in several positions, including Chief Operating Officer, prior to assuming his current role as president and CEO.
Joe has served on numerous boards and community task forces throughout Louisville. Currently, he serves on the boards of The Housing Partnership, The WLKY Bell Awards Foundation, the West Louisville Economic Advisory Board and more. Joe is married to Terry and is the proud father of three daughters
Joe can be reached at Joseph.Tolan@MetroUnitedWay.org