In spring 2010, Everyday Democracy launched Strong Starts for Children, a New Mexico-based initiative that aimed to help communities work together for the success of all children. With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the initiative worked closely with five communities in New Mexico to help them find ways for all kinds of people to talk, work, and take action together on issues related to the success of all children from birth to eight.
As part of the initiative, Everyday Democracy:
- helped communities build on what they were already doing,
involving all kinds of people in talking about and taking action on creating success for all children.
- provided resources and tools to sustain the kind of public participation that leads to equitable problem solving, policy change, and improved conditions in children’s lives, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
- All Indian Pueblo Council (Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, Inc.)
- Cuidando los Niños (on behalf of the New Mexico Campaign to End Child Homelessness)
- The University of New Mexico Family Development Program (in collaboration with Decade of the Child, a statewide early childhood advocacy coalition)
- Native American Professional Parent Resources, Inc.
- Youth Development, Inc., Pajarito Mesa Strong Starts for Children
Stories from the Initiative
The time for children to learn is now
“We need to stop talking about children in the future tense, because their time to learn is now,” says Lois Vermilya, director of the University of New Mexico’s Family Development Program. She has used the dialogue to address early education issues in the Albuquerque, N.M., area.
Teen advocates for ending child homelessness emerge through film festival
Teens in the Albuquerque, N.M. area are working to end child homelessness by giving the issue a familiar face. The film festival was an action idea that came out of the Strong Starts for Children project.
Taking action for future generations
How can we make our communities a better place for children? See the progress five New Mexico communities have made to build an environment where children thrive.
Generation Justice: A youth perspective
Young people involved in Generation Justice, a youth media project in Albuquerque, N.M., learn first-hand the importance of early childhood development through their participation in filming the dialogue-to-change programs in the Strong Starts for Children initiative.
Hundreds participate in Strong Starts for Children kick-off events
Everyday Democracy is working closely with five groups in the greater Albuquerque area to help them find ways for all kinds of people to talk, work, and take action together on issues related to the success of all children from birth to eight.
Bridging youth and early childhood movements in New Mexico
Roberta Rael, project manager for the KUNM Youth Radio Project, discusses the importance of empowering youth through leadership roles and engaging them in early childhood development work.
Connecting community work to state policy
Dialogue participants joined legislators and early childhood advocates in a policy forum designed to explore New Mexico's policy options and make recommendations to the Legislature on issues related to early childhood development.