Whitewater LEADS presents No Small Matter August 5

Whitewater LEADS partners with the United Way of Jefferson and Northern Walworth County and the Greater Whitewater Committee, Inc., to present No Small Matter at the Whitewater Cinemas.

On Monday, August 5 starting at 6:30 p.m. the documentary No Small Matter will play at Whitewater Cinemas to the public for free. A brief discussion will follow the showing of the documentary.

“Over the last twenty years, a revolution in our understanding of early childhood has led to one, inescapable conclusion: the experience we have in the first five years of life shapes our brains and bodies in profound and lasting ways,” Whitewater LEADS President Jim Winship said.

Winship also mentioned adults are shaped by nature and nurture working together, rather than being one or the other.

The purpose of showing the documentary is to inform the Whitewater community and surrounding communities of the need to improve early childhood development.

No Small Matter is the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for good in America today: early childhood education.

Through poignant stories and surprising humor, the film lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years and reveals how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for the country.

This documentary is firmly grounded in science, opening up the “black box” of what’s happening inside children’s brains with exciting, stimulating animation and the voices of compelling scientists, physicians, and Early Childhood Education experts.

“Access to quality and affordable childcare has become one of the top issues facing families in our communities,” United Way of Jefferson and Northern Walworth Counties Executive Director Megan Hartwick said.

No Small Matter dives into the crucial importance of quality care, and how deeply that care can impact a child as they move throughout their adolescence and into adulthood, but it also highlights the financial barrier most families have to accessing quality care, Hartwick mentioned.

She also detailed that in the United States alone, the average cost of childcare for one infant and one preschooler is $1,424 per month – about 37 percent higher than the average cost of housing.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that most families have to sacrifice quality for cost-savings, which has a dramatic impact on those children,” Hartwick said.

Part of the efforts to improve early childhood development in the greater Whitewater area, Whitewater LEADS introduced the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) program in 2017.

The DPIL is a book/reading program wherein children (within the Whitewater Unified School District) newborn to five years old receive free, age-appropriate books mailed to their home. It is meant to engage children in the world of reading early and prepare them for schooling.

Dolly Parton, country music legend, started the Dollywood Foundation which started the DPIL. It was originally a charity in Sevier County, Tennessee, Parton’s home county.

Parton started the program so every preschool child in her home county could have books in their home. The program currently distributes over one million high quality books monthly to children around the world.

Whitewater LEADS is a nonprofit organization established in 2015 to support literacy in the greater Whitewater area.

Parents who live in the Whitewater Unified School District area with children under the age of five can register their children to receive free books by going to imaginationlibrary.com.

For more information or to volunteer with Whitewater LEADS, email whitewaterleads@gmail.com.

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