A police chief, a regional bank manager and an attorney for a multinational corporation are traveling across North Carolina to speak about early development and learning. These professionals are part of a statewide effort – The First 2000 Days – to educate and engage the public about how early learning impacts all North Carolinians – and why it’s a matter of our national security, public safety and economic prosperity. First 2,000 days is an initiative of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation.
There are only 2,000 days from the time a baby is born to when that child shows up for the first day of kindergarten. Because 90 percent of brain development occurs during those first 2,000 days, early experiences have a lasting impact on children’s later learning, health and life success. With quality early childhood experiences, more children will be school ready, have higher high school graduation rates and grow into productive citizens and valuable employees.
The First 2,000 Days Speakers Bureau represents a diverse group of presenters from across the state and a variety of sectors – business, education, faith and law enforcement, who are leaders in their communities. They will speak to organizations about why early learning is critical to our state and nation’s future.
Speakers Bureau member Chris George, Senior Vice-President and Retail Regional Manager at PNC Bank in Wilmington, understands the importance of early learning in the development of our future workforce. He hosted a First 2000 Days Executive in Wilmington to engage business and community leaders in the initiative.
“A child starting off with a solid foundation will impact our communities exponentially and carry them through each phase of their lives. Through this initiative I can highlight the importance of a child’s early years with our business community and organizations to ensure we make the most of this important time of development,” he said.
Founding Members of the First 2000 Days Speakers Bureau include:
- William Anderson, Chief of Police for the City of Asheville, NC.
- Dr. Terri Colón, lead early childhood instructor at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC .
- Dr. Vivian I. Correa, professor in the Department of Special Education and Child Development at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte
- Chris George, Senior Vice President and Retail Regional Manager at PNC Bank in Wilmington, NC.
- Reverend Tommy James, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Burnsville, NC.
- Stacie LeGrow, Legal Director at Cisco Systems, Inc. in Cary, NC.
- Beth Moore, Senior Director of Little Stepping Stones Child Development Center in Garner, NC.
Pastors, county managers, business leaders, sheriffs, community college administrators and other community leaders are engaged in the First 2,000 Days initiative. To date more than 750 faith leaders, 400 business leaders and 1000 community leaders have attended a First 2,000 Days briefing. And more than forty percent have signed-on to take continued action on behalf of young children.