Brain Science and Promise Neighborhoods!

31 Jan 2013 |
Brain Science and Promise Neighborhoods!
Above: Groundbreaking at Buffalo Promise Neighborhood's new early learning center.

Quite a connection, quite a conversation.

Earlier this week, we hosted a webinar with the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child to talk about brain science and toxic stress, and how it relates to Promise Neighborhoods.

We heard about some tremendous efforts underway in the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood related to early childhood development, and began to better understand how Promise Neighborhoods can use the  brain science to inform and enhance their Promise Neighborhoods strategies.

Missed the webinar? Keep your chin up! You can watch and listen to the entire conversation now!

And here’s a BONUS: Watch the videos on brain science and toxic stress mentioned in the webinar!

“If I could wave a wand,” Gates writes, “I’d love to have a way to measure how exposure to risks like disease, infection, malnutrition and problem pregnancies impact children’s potential—their ability to learn and contribute to society. Measuring that could help us quantify the broader impact of those risks and help us tackle them.”

Michael McAfee, director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink, has this to say in response:

“I’m so glad Mr. Gates is bringing attention to the need to set clear goals, use measures to drive progress, and analyze results in a feedback loop. Since he’s interested in measuring risks impacting children’s potential, I’m pleased to report that we are already doing that. Promise Neighborhoods, which build a continuum of education, health, and social supports from the cradle to college to career based on the successful model of the Harlem Children’s Zone, work on common indicators to achieve a shared set of results. They rigorously measure data, assess progress, and continuously improve and connect services to help children succeed.

Across the country, over 60 Promise Neighborhoods are scaling up to serve over 200,000 children. Because their efforts address the interconnected challenges of poverty, this movement has the ability to collectively measure and erode systemic barriers together, ultimately creating a just and fair society in which all children can learn, participate, and prosper.”

What do you think?