Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children
Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray is asking his colleagues in the United States Conference of Mayors to sign on to a resolution that would designate the decade of 2015 – 2025 as a time for building “an Early Learning Nation.”

The resolution calls for community action and asks parents and caregivers to engage in “daily brain-building moments with their children” to highlight the benefits of adult/child conversations.

The resolution’s resonant and ambitious goal is for the children of Generation Alpha – those born between 2010 and 2025 — to “emerge equipped and prepared to resolve issues, assume leadership positions, while generating innovative and long-term solutions for previously intractable and seemingly unsolvable challenges.”

Fifteen mayors have co-sponsored the resolution, including Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh, who recently set up an advisory committee on universal pre-K, and Mayor Angel Taveras of Providence, home of an effort to close the word gap.

This proposal will be considered at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ upcoming annual meeting in Dallas from June 20th-23rd. The meeting will also include a panel discussion titled “Building an Early Learning Nation.” The scheduled panelists are U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Denver’s Mayor Michael B. Hancock, a resolution co-sponsor; Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Learning and Brain Science; and Jackie Bezos of the Bezos Family Foundation.

We encourage you to ask your mayor to support this resolution. Mayors have two choices. They can:

– add their names at the committee meeting before the resolution is considered; or

– sign on before the annual meeting by sending their names to Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle, care of Shauna Larsen:

It would be great to see all of Massachusetts’ mayors support this effort.

“Cities throughout the nation are investing in their youth through early learning programs,” Mayor Murray said in a press release. “I saw this commitment through preschool visits in Boston and Jersey City earlier this year. In addition to seeing the value in person, I’ve read countless studies that show an early investment in our residents benefits every aspect of our community. I’m proud to have sponsored an early education funding plan in Seattle and look forward to working with mayors throughout the nation on this critical priority. ”

We hope the mayors will approve this resolution so that cities across the country can participate in a decade of building an Early Learning Nation.