EDITORIAL: High quality preschool helps kids excel in life

04

Jun
2014
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by John Geddert, 2012 USA Gymnastics Olympic Team head coach, and a Champions for America’s Future member

The Lansing State Journal, May 22, 2014—One of the best things we can do in society is to help kids succeed. It’s a win-win situation when that happens.

I see this play out in the gymnasium every day. Gymnastics is a technically demanding sport. Our athletes have to be extremely bright to understand the complexities of what the sport involves. They also need the social skills to get along with teammates, and the emotional fortitude to succeed. That foundation is built during their early years. These kids have parents who are involved in their development and who understand that good habits early on are required for success.

Research shows at-risk kids who access high-quality preschool can also be better competitors in school and beyond. In the long run, it costs far less for taxpayers when kids grow into individuals who add to the tax base. The benefits of success are tremendous.

Time and again, we get things right. Ensuring that high-quality preschool is accessible is one of the things we get right in Michigan.

 

VIDEO: Olympic Silver Medalist featured in 60-second video by law enforcement, military, business, faith, and sports leaders

12

May
2014
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This is a timely message from Judi Brown Clarke, Olympic Silver Medalist, 1984, as lawmakers consider legislation this year on a state/federal partnership to ensure that at-risk 4-year-olds have access to high-quality preschool — a proven tool to help kids establish the foundation to gain knowledge and technologically-based skills for the 21st Century workforce.  Those skills will help kids to succeed in school, sports, and jobs.

Judi joined members of five nonprofit membership organizations that are working together to ensure Michigan preschoolers have access to high-quality early childhood care and education proven to prepare individuals for success in school, sports, and life.

High-quality preschool can help young children build essential academic, emotional, and social skills that are critical for later success. At-risk children who attend high-quality early education programs are less likely to need special education, less likely to commit crimes, and more likely to graduate high school.

 

PHOTOS: Michigan Athletes and Coaches Support Great Start Readiness Program

23

Apr
2014
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Coach Pat O’Keefe, Head Coach, Grand Ledge HS Varsity Baseball stood at the podium alongside Champions for America’s Future members former MSU Women’s Track and Field coach Judi Brown Clarke, Ph.D.; Nolan Moody, J.D., a former MSU star and pitcher for the Detroit Tigers minor league system and Appointee to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health & Sports; and and 2012 USA Olympic Gymnastics Team Head Coach John Geddert, who leads Twistars USA Gymnastics Club in Lansing.
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RELEASE: Michigan Athletes and Coaches Support Great Start Readiness Program

23

Apr
2014
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New Report Details Evidence That Shows Preschool Increases Graduation Rates

(April 23, 2014)—A group of four-year-olds at Lansing’s EC3 – Educational Child Care Center, spent “recess” with some interesting visitors today: top Michigan athletes and coaches who released a report on behalf of Champions for America’s Future entitled, I Can’t Coach the Kids Who Drop Out.  The report spotlights the impact of high-quality preschool on long-term academic achievement, high school graduation rates and college readiness.  In addition they urged lawmakers to step up to the plate in support of Governor Snyder’s plan to ensure that Michigan is a “no-wait” state for preschool.

The athletes and coaches included Olympic silver medalist and former MSU Women’s Track and Field coach Judi Brown Clarke, Ph.D.; Nolan Moody, J.D., a former MSU star and pitcher for the Detroit Tigers minor league system and Appointee to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health & Sports; Grand Ledge High School Varsity Baseball Coach Pat O’Keefe; and 2012 USA Olympic Gymnastics Team Head Coach John Geddert, who leads Twistars USA Gymnastics Club in Lansing.
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RELEASE: Making Good Yardage in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity, But…

13

Mar
2014
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by Colin Allred, Former linebacker for Tennessee Titans of the NFL and Champions for America’s Future member

My fellow athletes and coaches who are members of Champions for America’s Future understand the importance of being fit and healthy. It’s not only important to those of us who do (or did) compete on the field; it’s also critical to all Americans who must compete in life. We are especially concerned about helping to make sure our children are healthy and properly nourished so they start out on the right track, and have the best shot at being fit, healthy, and productive citizens when they grow up.

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EDITORIAL: This Olympic athlete knows preschool matters

03

Feb
2014
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by Emily Cook,  a freestyle skier competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics and a Champions for America’s Future member

The Salt Lake City Tribune, February 1, 2014—Close to 3,000 athletes will be competing in 15 different sporting events at the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but there is one thing virtually all of us have in common: We didn’t make it here overnight.
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RELEASE: Support for RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America Recommendations

13

Jan
2014
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CONTACT:  Chris Beakey, cbeakey@championsforamericasfuture.org
302-448-0253

Many of our members coach college sports teams – so they have a vested interest in ensuring their players have the academic foundation they need to succeed in higher eduction.
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EDITORIAL: Preschool proposal is a win for Maryland families

02

Jan
2014
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by Randy Edsall,  head football coach at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Champions for America’s Future member

The Baltimore Sun, December 30, 2013—As the football coach at the University of Maryland, College Park, I consider myself fortunate to have players who have the academic foundation to be successful in college. I am not alone. College coaches nationwide have a vested interest in expanding the pipeline of young adults who are prepared for the rigors of college work. In NCAA Division I schools in particular, athletes are allowed no more than five years to graduate while receiving athletically related financial aid. And Division I schools are monitored by their Academic Progress Rate, which is calculated based on the academic eligibility and retention of each student athlete.

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RELEASE: Our Campaign for Expanded Preschool

17

Dec
2013
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Overview:

In November 2013, the bipartisan “Strong Start for America’s Children Act” was introduced in Congress to create a state-federal partnership to expand access to high-quality preschool for lower-income four-year olds. The goal is to make sure all children are prepared for kindergarten and their school years, and to help them acquire the social and academic skills to have the best chance to succeed.

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EDITORIAL: Preschool plan a winner for Ohio, nation

14

Nov
2013
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by Jim Jabir, Head Coach of the University of Dayton Women’s Basketball Team and a member of Champions for America’s Future

Dayton Daily News, November 12, 2013—As an NCAA Division I college basketball coach, I do everything possible to teach and prepare our athletes to succeed both on the court, in the classroom, and in our community where our students are role models for many children and families that come to see them play.

That means requiring current students to meet high academic standards as a condition for playing. It also means advocating for high-quality preschool to ensure future players are well prepared for college level work.
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