Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Massachusetts legislators recently received a very special delivery. Advocates from Early Education for All, a campaign of Strategies for Children, gave each of the state’s 200 senators and representatives a framed star decorated by a young child. The stars marry art with an important message: Invest in young children for their future and ours.

The framed stars are part of our annual Rising Stars campaign. In January, thousands of boys and girls across Massachusetts got out their crayons and glue sticks and glitter to create beautiful paper stars that they sent to Governor Deval Patrick to urge him to prioritize high-quality early education and care in his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal. The governor did just that. Now the budget process has moved to the Legislature. The time has come to send letters to legislators with the same message.

The state’s ongoing fiscal crisis promises to make the FY12 budget process challenging. Yet the importance of investing in the commonwealth’s children — to ensure they have access to high-quality early education and become proficient readers by the end of third grade — remains as urgent as ever.

Click here to send an e-mail to your state legislators urging them to prioritize funding for children and families in the FY12 budget. If you have questions or need more information, please contact EEA’s field director, Mike McLaughlin, at