Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman’s work is all about finding upstream solutions to the biggest problems facing our communities. In the same way Einstein’s relativity equation changed the way we understand our physical world, the Heckman Equation illuminates the foundational role that early learning plays in everything from workforce development to crime reduction.
“The largest effects…are on noncognitive traits: perseverance, motivation, self-esteem, and hard work,” explains Heckman. “Cognitive and character skills work together as dynamic complements; they are inseparable. Skills beget skills. More motivated children learn more. And those who are more informed usually make wiser decisions.” The results are communities and families that are stronger in every measurable way.
This is why Great Bend is working to make high quality early learning universally accessible. The science shows that there’s no more powerful way to build a community than by making sure its youngest members are motivated, curious and secure; and there’s no more powerful tool to build kindergarten readiness than music.
And it’s why our collaboration with the Shelton School District this coming school year is so exciting. Over 400 local preschoolers will have access to Great Bend’s high quality early learning program Sound Scholars™ in English, Spanish, Mam and Q’anjob’al. This pilot partnership is an investment that will pay huge dividends for our community for years to come.
As the Heckman Equation shows, the math is simple.
Every dollar invested in early learning returns upwards of $14 while also building stronger families, a more robust local economy, health and wellness. Make your early learning investment today here by helping us add more class slots, or by purchasing a ticket to either (or both) of our summer jazz fundraisers!