Mayor Hickenlooper Hosts Early Childhood Education Summit
Coalition of Local Foundations Add Support to the “Invest in Success” Effort
Mayor John Hickenlooper hosted “Invest in Success,” a daylong summit on early childhood education, on Wednesday, February 25, 2004, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Place. Co-sponsored by ten local charitable foundations, the Mayor’s Summit on Early Childhood Education engaged nearly 300 local business and civic leaders in helping to identify strategies to improve access to - and availability of - quality early childhood education programs for Denver’s children.
“Access to quality early childhood education not only sets a foundation for lifelong learning, but it builds a stronger foundation for our community’s economic future,” Hickenlooper said, noting that early childhood education is a proven tool in closing the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income children. “The support being offered through the collaboration of local foundations and business leaders with the City is making early childhood education a top priority across Denver. The earlier we invest in children, the greater the return on the investment.”
In addition to remarks by Mayor Hickenlooper, Governor Bill Owens and Attorney General Ken Salazar, two national experts addressed the summit: Rob Grunewald, a regional economic analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, discussed the high rate of return achieved from investing in early childhood education. Dr. Harold Hodgkinson, a leading demographer and education policy analyst with the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C., discussed his report, “Leaving Too Many Children Behind,” addressing how early childhood education can improve outcomes for at-risk children.
Mayor Hickenlooper announced his Leadership Team on Early Childhood Education, a group comprised of local business and non-profit leaders and overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Education and Children that will lead the citywide early childhood education efforts. A breakfast for the Leadership Team preceded the summit.
The Mayor also unveiled a unique partnership with Denver-based Deep Rock Water to launch “Mile High Water” this spring, with 10 cents from every private label bottle purchased going to support the City’s early childhood education efforts.
Invest in Success, the Mayor’s Summit on Early Childhood Education was cosponsored by the following local foundations: Chambers Family Fund, The Colorado Trust, The Daniels Fund, The Denver Foundation, Donnell-Kay Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, The Piton Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, and The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.
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