Independent Learning

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The Raising of America



(6 credit hours)

The Raising of America 
This is a documentary series which explores the importance of high quality early care and education. (Total viewing time is 3 hours and 35 minutes. A summary of each episode is required after viewing.)

The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation is changing the way Americans look at early child health and development. The acclaimed five-part documentary series and companion tools illustrate how a strong start for all our kids can lead to better individual outcomes AND a healthier, safer, more prosperous and equitable America.

Why are so many children in the richest country on the planet faring so poorly? What are the consequences for the nation’s future? How might we do better? Neuroscience underscores how a child’s earliest surrounding and interactions shape the developing brain, building the foundations for life-long cognitive and emotional development, even mental and physical health.

But too often families and communities are pressed by lack of time, money and resources. Job insecurity and low wages, lack of paid family leave, child care that is both poor quality and unaffordable, racial stigma, and of course the trauma of adverse child experiences and racial exclusion can all get ‘under the skin’ of young children altering brain architecture. The costs? More emotional, behavior, substance abuse and learning problems later in life. But it’s not only our children who are at risk. Our current policies are under-developing America. If we want our children to do better in school and in life, we can’t wait until they enter kindergarten.

The series’ Signature Hour asks how we might make a strong start the birthright of every infant in the U.S. The four additional episodes dive in for a closer look. Will the U.S. invest in its youngest children and their families, or will it squander its own future?

Participants will be mailed the DVD along with the assignment within 48 hours of registration. All DVDs are due back within 2 weeks.

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