Check out this article from the New York Times “Class Differences In Child Rearing are on the Rise":
Conventional wisdom is that lives of poor children and rich children have always been starkly different, but the inequalities are becoming more pronounced. Class differences in child rearing, though not surprising, have profound consequences, and this is why ICIC’s work is more critical now than ever.
As Stanford researcher Sean Reardon points out in the article, “early childhood experiences can be very consequential for children’s long-term social, emotional, and cognitive development…because those influence educational success and later earnings, early childhood experiences cast a lifelong shadow”.
This is news that keep us going, and we are encouraged that early childhood education, especially the importance of it for poor children, is finally part of a national conversation. The community-based early childhood centers that ICIC serves exist on the margins of an already forgotten community. During the recent blizzard, when nearly all schools were closed or on delayed opening for a week or more, these centers remained open; serving children of parents who work low-wage jobs and who could ill-afford to stay home with their children. These centers are a critically needed support system in underserved communities, and serve thousands of children across the District. Yet, with the explosion of the charter movement and universal pre-K in the District, these community lifelines are on the verge of collapse.
ICIC’s work brings master teaching artists who impart rich academic and pre-literacy content through their artistry. We train the children’s teachers; showing them how to use books and the arts to help their students learn and to fall in love with reading. To fall in love with reading, you need beautiful new books with colorful pictures, populated with people of all colors; so that they find themselves in these stories. ICIC donates these books to the children. Unlike their middle class counterparts, low-income children lack access to books, and to dance, music, and art classes. Their parents have less time and fewer resources to invest in their lives. Inner City Inner Child tries to remedy these disparities for the youngest children, to break the cycle of poverty.