We’re happy to welcome two new Board members to Strategies for Children: Jill Dixon and Valerie Gumes.

Jill and Valerie will help us carry out our mission to “ensure that Massachusetts invests the resources needed for all children, from birth to age five, to access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life.”

jill-dixon-taly-bio-photoAs we’ve blogged, Jill is president and co-founder of the Taly Foundation, which provides grants to expand children’s access to early education programs and improve program quality. A parent with more than 20 years of sales experience, Jill was inspired to start Taly after her own children enrolled in preschool programs, and she discovered how many children were turned away because their parents could afford the cost. Back then, she wrote a personal check to pay for five children to attend preschool. Today, she does this funding work through Taly.

vgValerie is a retired educator who has had extensive experience in public education as a teacher, a principal, and an administrator. She was the founding principal of two of Boston’s Early Education Centers: the Blue Hill Avenue Early Education Center and the Haynes Early Education Center. She is a board member of the Dudley Street Neighborhood School Charter School, and she was a member of Boston’s School Readiness Action Planning Team. Valerie has remained active in the early education and care community, serving as a mentor to public school principals and teachers who are creating high-quality early childhood programs that meet the standards for national accreditation.

We’re excited to move forward with Jill and Valerie’s support. They will help us work toward our goal of increasing the number of children in Massachusetts who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs and who enter kindergarten ready to learn.