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In 1990 a team of researchers followed 40 volunteer families — some poor, some middle class, some rich — during the first three years of their children’s lives, recording an hour of sound from each family. What they discovered was devastating.
It turned out, by the age of 3, children born into low-income families heard roughly 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. This became known as the ‘word gap,’ a disadvantage that not only affects a child’s language skills but sets them up for life – rich or poor.
Research shows that during the first three years of life, a poor child hears roughly 30 million fewer total words than his or her more affluent peers. This is known as the “word gap,” and it can lead to disparities not just in vocabulary size, but also in school readiness, long-term educational and health outcomes, earnings, and family stability, even decades later. This won’t be the case for the preschoolers of Premier Academy in Atlanta.
In a similar article written by The Atlantic, the writer shares, “…families that shower their children with time, attention, and resources produce kids who maintain and even improve on their parents’ socioeconomic status, while families that lack resources or the stability to provide them see their kids fall down along the way, from early schooling to adulthood.
Though the majority of Premier Academy’s preschoolers are from low-income neighborhoods, Executive Director, Cindra Taylor is committed to making a quality early education accessible and attainable for the children residing in Atlanta’s Angier Ave. Also known as the Old Fourth Ward, as well as their sister location, located in a neighborhood close to Atlanta’s airport, on the south side.
Passionate and committed to her students and their parents, Ms. Taylor continued her cause for quality early childhood education even while battling colon cancer, a fight she successfully won.
For over 40 years, Premier Academy has provided the educational foundation for more than 25,000 children in metro-Atlanta and has removed barriers to quality education for thousands of at-risk children while strengthening their families and the community. To date, they have raised over $65k in scholarships for at-risk youth. They can support these families through the generous donations of corporate sponsors and their annual charity golf tournament in its fifth year.
This year, community partners and leaders include Kroger, Georgia Power, Best Bank, Coca-Cola, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta City Council member, Joyce M. Sheperd and Fitness Expert and TV Personality, Tramell Smith. Johnny Brown, who works with their corporate sponsor, Kroger states, “To be able to give back to our youth – who are the future – is phenomenal. Anybody who has watched the news knows that our education is in serious peril due to reduced funding, so anything we can do to help further their processes is great.”
Darroll Mitchell of Georgia Power, a continued sponsor, agrees and is committed to the education of early learners and states, “Ensuring children are in a quality learning environment is key to their long-term educational success. Premier Academy is known for its national and local accreditation status and meets the rigorous demands for quality standards. Georgia Power has provided support for educational initiatives, and Mr. Mitchell has aligned his community efforts with the vision of Georgia Power.”
Ms. Taylor has served as the Executive Director of Premier Child Development Academy, Inc., since 1996. Under her leadership, all centers have achieved accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and have maintained this status for the past 20 years. She declares, “We’ve been a stellar institution since 1971 and have experienced first-hand the positive impact a quality education produces for our children. They’ve gone on to graduate and become doctors, business owners, and community leaders. I know the power of education and committed to keeping this a reality for our children, no matter their socioeconomic background.”
To learn more about the Obama Administration ’30 Million Word Gap,’ a link to the fact sheet is provided.
You can learn more about Premier Academy’s Golf Tournament by clicking here as well as learning about other volunteer opportunities.