A Healthy Start

Children grow and learn better when they are born healthy and practice healthy habits throughout childhood, including proper nutrition and exercise, and have access to high quality learning opportunities. Healthy and well-nourished children are more able to develop their minds and bodies as they should, and they are far more capable of concentrating, learning and thriving throughout their school years.

In contrast, children born from unhealthy pregnancies, who don’t have access to quality health care and opportunities to learn and develop are much more likely to suffer developmental setbacks that will put them behind their peers even before they reach kindergarten. These setbacks also occur when children are raised in highly stressed home environments that do not offer adequate health care services or guidance on proper diet and exercise.

The educational consequences include falling even further behind because they miss too much school, or struggling to concentrate in class because they feel sick or hungry, are unable to see properly for lack of vision screening, or are hurting from unchecked ear infections or dental problems.

From life’s first starting line of birth, young people who are immersed in healthy environments that allow them and their parents to stay focused on meeting developmental milestones and make healthful life choices are far more likely to stay healthy and grow to their full potential.

 

Related Resources

2016 Building a Grad Nation Report

May 9, 2016Written annually by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and released in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, this report examines the progress and challenges the nation faces in reaching the GradNation goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent by the Class of 2020.

Comprehensive Community Initiatives - Case Studies

Nov 19, 2015Collective impact – a collaborative approach to solving social problems - is a popular tool used by the government and community-based organizations. Communities across the country are embracing this approach to help children and young people access the fundamental resources - what we call the Five Promises – that they need to succeed. Decades of community change efforts demonstrate, however, that this strategy is far from a silver bullet. America’s Promise Alliance and its research center, the Center for Promise, presents a series of in-depth case studies highlighting collaborative efforts in the cities of Atlanta, Orlando, and New Orleans that distill important lessons about how organizations can work together effectively - and, ultimately, put young people on positive pathways.

Dispelling Stereotypes of Young People Who Leave School Before Graduation

Aug 17, 2015Part of the Don't Call Them Dropouts series of research, Dispelling Stereotypes of Young People Who Leave School Before Graduation explores the social and emotional competencies of young people who have left school before graduating from high school. Though often labeled "dropouts," by society, stereotypes assume that these young people are deficient and simply disengaged - lacking the competencies of those that do graduate. Our analyses show that young people who left school expressed the same competencies as those that have been found for young people who are academically successful. And, while not always legal or socially acceptable, the competencies of young people who left school before graduating enabled them to pursue and successfully reach their goals. Often, these goals were focused on circumstances that were dissonant with attending school, such as caring for a family member, surviving violent and/or abusive situations or financially providing for themselves or their families.

Every Child Every Promise: Turning Failure into Action

Jan 14, 2014This report presents the first national research that comprehensively measures the presence of the essential resources -- the Five Promises -- that correlate with success in both youth and adulthood. The report clearly shows that we have much work to do as a nation. But it also shows how we can turn failure into action and improve the lives of young people at risk.