More Families Must Buy Into the Idea of Early Education

Marion Herbert's picture
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blake Wilson, the director of the Mississippi Economic Council, is about as effective a salesman for the state as you will find. He’s a true believer in Mississippi’s potential, a fact that’s more noteworthy because he’s from out of state and therefore has been able to look past the stereotypes to see what’s possible.

He was in Pike County recently, promoting the MEC’s Blueprint Mississippi to the McComb Rotary Club. Its goals are an ambitious mix of economic and cultural items that, if achieved, would put the state on track for greater prosperity, no matter what the condition of the national economy.

One of the blueprint’s nine recommendations -- the one upon which many of the other recommendations depend -- is this: “Increase the educational achievement level of Mississippians.”

It may sound like a simple thing to do, but too many people in the state lack the willpower to make it happen.

The most important element of improving education is the need for better early-childhood education and development programs. This took up a significant portion of Wilson’s presentation. He noted the immense development of a child’s brain before age 5 and said that’s the critical time to reach children, to prepare them for education and ultimately for a productive adult life.

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