“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”-JFK
I am participating in Save The Children‘s #FindTheWords social media campaign to highlight the importance of early education for children. For this campaign I am 1 of 30 bloggers who will write on 30 words over 30 days as a way to symbolize the 30 million fewer words that children from low-income homes hear by the age of 3.
By age three, children from low-income homes hear on average 30 million fewer words than their peers, putting them 18 months cognitively behind his or her peers when they start school. Around the world, if all students in low-income countries acquire basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty – Save The Children
The word I was assigned is:
Leadership can sometimes come from the most surprising places. Thinks of Malala, known now by her first name alone, who has become a world leader just by standing up for her own beliefs. She was not afraid to break out of the mold and forge a new path towards what she believes in, and this is a case where the new path she forged is one that others chose to follow as well. Because she was being educated, she knew how important it was for her and other girls to continue to be educated. Knowledge is one of the most powerful tools, and children who are not given the opportunity to learn from an early age are denied their full potential. According to statistics provided by Save The Children 65% of young kids in need have little or no access to books. More than two-thirds of poverty-stricken households do not possess a single book developmentally appropriate for a child under five. And kids whose parents do not speak to them often and are not spoken to in an engaging, and supportive way are less likely to develop to their full intellectual potential than kids who hear a significant amount of child-directed speech.
Malala Yousafzai, Wikipedia Commons
Which in the case of Malala is exactly why there were those who did not want girls to be educated, because they know how empowering education can be. As a parent I try to led by example, I know that learning and development for my kids is not just academic, but across all aspects of life, and I know that they will absorb what they see. Personally I do not consider myself a leader, nor do I aspire to lead, yet I find myself on occasion in leadership roles. I’ve ended up advocating on Capitol Hill, acting as social director, sitting on various boards, as president of the PTA for my child’s school, and directing or producing media content. It is a lot of leadership for someone whose first choice would not be to lead. That said, I am also distinctly not a follower. Never have been, and what I think inspires me to step up into these positions is my belief that if you want something to happen, or something to change, you can not just sit back and wait for someone else to do it. You need to make it happen. This is the same reason that I was eager to take part in the #FindTheWords campaign. Society needs to be aware of the importance of early education for all children, and for the future of the community as a whole. Citizens who live up to their full potential are better able to contribute to society and to break the cycle of poverty. You can help spread the word as well!
What does the word LEAD mean to you?
You can enter to win $100.00 gift card by sharing this post, the campaign on social media, leaving a comment about what the word Lead means to you, or by taking a picture that represents the word LEAD to you and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. To be entered to win don’t forget to use the proper hashtags #FindTheWords #Lead and tag @elizabethatalay
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Save the Children provides kids in need with access to books, essential learning support and a literacy-rich environment, setting them up for success in school and a brighter future. Learn more about Save the Children’s work in the US and around the world HERE.