News & Highlights

Collaborative for Children Launches Inaugural State of the Children Address

Collaborative for Children’s inaugural State of the Children address in May kicked off the 2015 Circle of Friends annual giving campaign and welcomed national early education thought leader Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation, to Houston.

Ms. Bezos spoke to the audience of nearly 300 guests about the trillions of neural connections that are made in a child’s brain during the first five years of their life, and how quality early learning can promote these connections and make them strong. She went on to explain the societal benefits of investing in early education such as higher graduation rates, higher individual lifetime earnings, reduced need for special education and reduced crime.

For the past 15 years, the Bezos Family Foundation has focused on early education. Thanks to contributions from the foundation, leading institutions have continued cutting-edge neuroscience research into brain development. She described how new technology allows us to view brain activity when a parent interacts with their child. “We are witnessing the effect of the delicate dance between and parent and child on a growing brain, and it’s simply breathtaking,” Ms. Bezos said.

Her foundation’s research led them to create Vroom, an initiative that helps to change parenting routines based on healthy brain-building activities. She hopes to expand Vroom so that more and more parents can incorporate better brain-building techniques into their everyday routines.

The Bezos Family Foundation’s research and approach supports and aligns with the ongoing efforts of Collaborative for Children to improve the quality of early learning opportunities for all Houston children, both at home and in the care of others. The Circle of Friends annual giving society raises critical funds each year that support Collaborative for Children’s programs and initiatives, allowing the organization to impact even more children, their families and educators across the region.