The Woodward News

Local News

June 14, 2013

Meeting focuses on early childhood development

Woodward, Okla. — What do a university dean, a bank president, a former business manager, a school board member, a city official, an executive director of a youth services agency, and a state legislator have in common?

In Woodward, these men and women all believe in the importance of investing in early childhood development and the positive impact such investment can have on society as a whole.

These local leaders discussed the benefits of investing in young children and their families during a business summit held at the Woodward Conference Center on Thursday.  The summit was sponsored by the Oklahoma Champions for Early Opportunities (OKCEOs).

According to a press release, OKCEOs is "a statewide initiative to educate business, community and legislative leaders about the strong link between early learning and economic growth."

Speaking about that link Thursday, were Dr. Deena Fisher, dean of NWOSU-Woodward; Bruce Benbrook, president of Stock Exchange Bank; Sandi Liles, marketing director of High Plains Technology Center; Roxy Merklin, member of the Woodward Public Schools Board of Education; Doug Haines, Woodward assistant city manager; Kevin Evans, executive director of Western Plains Youth and Family Center; and District 61 State Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne.

INVESTING IN LEADERS OF TOMORROW

Fisher said that OKCEOs have a "simple" message: "Investing in kids is good business."

Putting it in investment terms, she compared it to compound interest, saying "the more you invest early, the bigger pay off you get later on."

That's because "building up children is like building up a house, you need to have a strong foundation," she said.

With the large majority of a child's brain development occurring in the first 3 years of life, Fisher said that it is easy to see how important it is to build a good foundation early.

Because having the right foundation up to age 3 will help ensure a child is ready to go to school when the time comes to enroll in pre-kindergarten at age 4, she said.

School readiness is important, because it impacts how well a child does throughout his or her school career, including whether or not that child goes on to higher education or even graduates from high school, Fisher said.

As a sign of how much early education can impact a child's continuing education, the dean said "the amount of absences that a child has up to 3rd grade is a good predictor of whether that child will drop out of school."

That in turn affects what kind of job that child is able to get as an adult and therefore what kind of economic contribution he or she is able to make later on in life.

And since "today's infants will be tomorrow's workers and leaders," Fisher said it is important for businesses and communities to invest in the future generations

Text Only
Local News
  • Board hears updates

    Woodward School Board members honored a group of Woodward FFA students for their service to the community during the board's monthly meeting Monday night.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red Cross sets open house Thursday

    Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross is holding an open house at its Woodward office, 1209 9th St.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission hears communications presentation

    Woodward County Commissioners heard an informative report from Pioneer Telephone Special Projects and Engineering Manager JR Ools regarding new and emerging communications technologies being made available in the region.

    April 15, 2014

  • Extension Service important to state

    Recia Garcia remembers.
    She remembers how the lives of those she met through 4-H and through her work as a 30-year veteran with the OSU Extension Service changed her in ways she still sees today.

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislation targeting Okla. judiciary stirs debate

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — For the first time since a bribery scandal rocked Oklahoma's Supreme Court 50 years ago, state lawmakers are considering tinkering with the way Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges are selected.

    April 13, 2014

  • Filing period brings some area races

    There will be a few races on the June 24 primary ballot and the November general election ballot in Northwest Oklahoma counties.
    The three-day filing period ended on Friday.

    April 13, 2014

  • walkerweb.jpg Walker promoted to Captain

    Stan Walker's father Samuel Walker was an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer from 1942 to 1946 before taking on another career in energy where he spent the rest of his working days in Northwest Oklahoma.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reports, hires on agenda

    Woodward Board of Education members will take up a number of routine items as well as hire some teachers for the early childhood center at their meeting on Monday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Area school calendars

    School calendars April 14-19

    April 13, 2014

  • Red Cross recognizes local volunteer

    When Karen Daily, Red Cross volunteer and owner of Western Medical & Drug, gets up in the morning, it is with the purpose and understanding that she may need to offer some of her time to her community.

    April 13, 2014