All IN 4 Pre-K Holds Successful Launch
On Friday, August 12, we officially launched the All IN 4 Pre-K campaign! United Way of Central Indiana President and CEO Ann D. Murtlow, Eli Lilly and Company Chairman, President and CEO John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Early Learning Indiana President and CEO Ted Maple, and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett held a joint press conference highlighting investments already made and the ongoing demand for high-quality pre-k in Indiana.
“Lilly and other corporate leaders know that a thriving community depends on a high-quality education system, which starts with access to excellent early learning opportunities,” Lechleiter said. “Quality pre-k leads to stronger academic outcomes for students, which helps build a robust pipeline of talent to fuel the future workforce. That’s why we and other businesses stepped up to successfully raise $10 million for the Indianapolis pre-k program and why we’re advocating for pre-k expansion at the state level.”
“We need to ensure more Hoosier children – especially students from low-income families who stand to benefit most – can access high-quality pre-k so they start kindergarten ready to succeed,” Murtlow said. “Research shows us that dramatic brain development takes place in a child’s first five years of life, and the strong academic foundation provided by pre-k leads to positive academic and life outcomes. This has a ripple effect on communities and the state. That’s why we are advocating for expansion and see urgency to act.”
“We’ve seen the power of pre-k for Indianapolis students through our city’s scholarship program, yet we’ve also seen too many families turned away because there’s simply not enough money to build capacity and provide scholarships,” Mayor Hogsett said. “It is time to close this gap and help better meet the needs of families not just in our city, but across our state. It’s encouraging to see a broad group of parents, educators, business leaders and bipartisan elected officials joining to champion pre-k expansion in 2017.”
“Indiana has grown the number of high-quality pre-k providers in recent years, and as we expand pre-k, we will, first and foremost, focus on growing in a way that upholds high-quality for all students,” Maple said. “Indiana is ready for expansion. With our state on strong financial footing, we have a rare window of opportunity to make an investment in our children and an important statement about the future of our state in the upcoming budget session.”