Indiana University Health is pledging $1 million to boost childhood education efforts for disadvantaged children in Marion County. Chief Executive Officer Dan Evans says pre-kindergarten education access plays an important role in a child's long-term health.

September 19, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — As an organization long-committed to the health and well-being of children, Indiana University Health is announcing its pledge of $1 million to support early childhood education for disadvantaged children in Marion County. This move comes as local leaders from the business community agree to pool resources for this initiative and urge elected leaders to pass a plan that will significantly invest in Hoosier children and the future of the Indianapolis community.

“IU Health has long-championed early childhood education, knowing the role this plays in a child's long-term health and well-being,” said Daniel F. Evans, Jr., president and CEO, Indiana University Health. “There is a wide body of research that clearly demonstrates the benefits of early learning and the role it plays in shaping a child’s future.”

IU Health has been supporting K-12 education for many years and recognizes the need to fully prepare children—academically and socially—to enter kindergarten. A number of studies illustrate the benefit of early education and the clear gains in cognitive, behavioral, social and educational measures.

“This is our responsibility as a major caregiver in and to the community,” said Evans. “We help thousands of children every day – and that extends well beyond our hospital walls. High-quality early learning is one of the best investments we can make in our youth and is a critical component in building a stronger, more vibrant community.”

It is well-documented that too many children in this city arrive at kindergarten already at a high risk of failing in school – time and opportunity lost, never to be regained. Unfortunately, only about 25 percent of low-income children in Indianapolis currently receive a high-quality early education experience. Children that lack this access to early childhood education are more likely to drop out of school, become a teen parent, be arrested for a violent crime and live in poverty. This trend must be reversed, according to IU Health.

Evans continues, “We look forward to continued dialogue for optimal resolution with city county officials and the business community on this matter. We must improve the chance of success for our youth. This is critical for our kids and our community.”

Source: Indiana University Health

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