Retired Military Leader Brian Newberry Visits YWCA’s Pre-K Program To Highlight the Importance of High-Quality Early Education And To Celebrate Veterans Day
Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Brian Newberry, former Wing Commander at Fairchild Air Force Base, and the state directors of the nonprofit Mission: Readiness came to visit the Downtown YWCA’s preschool program to highlight the importance of high-quality preschool for our future national security. He spent the afternoon reading to the preschoolers and celebrating Veterans Day.
A new report from Mission: Readiness cites Department of Defense data showing 69 percent of Washington’s young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 are unable to join the military, primarily because they are poorly educated, physically unfit, or have a record of crime or drug abuse.
Long-term research highlighted in the report shows that high-quality preschool can prepare children to start school ready to learn, improve student performance, boost graduation rates, and help children learn positive behaviors and healthy habits that carry into adulthood.
The report also highlights studies of Washington’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), which has been shown to increase children’s literacy and early math skills, gains that persist through elementary school. To scale up the program effectively and ensure that more children are prepared for success in school, work, and life, including a career in the military if they choose, the report urges Washington policymakers to focus on investing in quality, serving more children, and creating more learning spaces.
YWCA ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) currently serves 125 qualifying families in five classrooms: two are located in the Downtown Spokane building, one in Airway Heights Community Center, one at Windsor Elementary School, and one in the Medical Lake Community. The YWCA classrooms are rated a Level 4 through the Early Achievers Quality Standards due to the committed staff, informed trauma-based approach and child-led teaching practices. Parent involvement is highly encouraged and supported through many avenues of the program, class involvement, parent meetings, family events, policy council and advocacy grassroots leadership.
Mission: Readiness is the nonpartisan organization of more than 650 retired admirals, generals, and other military leaders nationwide, including 20 in Washington, strengthening national security by ensuring kids stay in school, stay fit, and stay out of trouble.
Additional coverage and photos of the celebration are available by the Spokesman Review.