Louise and May attended Edventure Childrens Museum’s annual impact breakfast event this morning early… brrr, for South Carolina. Matthew Martin, Regional Executive for the Charlotte Federal Reserve Bank, talked about the “human capital” part of the economy… our segment of the economy! Some of the most important parts of his speech were:
*20-40% of students don’t finish high school and some statistic show that 40% of college students do not finish high school, even after 6 years. As a country, our investment in “human” capital has leveled off since the 1970’s, with the average years of education at 14 years.
*Our high schools focus only on college prep, and students who do not fit into this narrow category often drop out without getting the technical skills needed to compete in non-college jobs.
*While we have made strides in early education, the 2 lowest ranking metropolitan cities for economic mobility were Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, GA. If a child does not have parents who read and provide enriching play experiences, like Edventure, their children quickly fall behind academically. A common statistic is the 3 million word deficit found between disadvantaged and advantaged children.
*Cognitive skills are important, but equally important are non-cognitive skills like “stick to itiveness” and other “soft” skills which are critical but hard to measure. (We believe boarding skills help teach these softer executive functioning skills.)
*Issues like inequality, family structure, school systems and social capital play a large role in early childhood education. We often see young children with early childhood enrichment opportunities whose advances “fade out” by third grade if the environment at a school does not continue to foster the softer skills and other enriching experiences.
Kudos to Edventure and their new head, Karen Coltrane, for a great event! And kudos to Judi Gatson, who is always very personable and supportive as a moderator, speaking often of her young boys who love Edventure.