Boston Mayoral Forum Spotlights Early Education

United Way and Thrive in 5 joined Strategies for Children and Boston Children’s Museum to sponsor a special mayoral forum focusing on early childhood education. City Councilor John Connolly and State Representative Marty Walsh each stopped by to talk to more than 200 educators, caregivers, parents, and partners about the importance of early education.  The audience came armed with specific questions, and pushed the candidates for detailed answers.

WBZ’s Jon Keller facilitated the conversation, joining the audience in asking tough questions on how to best support parents in underserved neighborhoods, their thoughts on mixed delivery systems for early ed programs, and how issues like poverty and housing stability can affect a child’s development.

Keller talked about his takeaways from the forum on his radio broadcast the next morning, saying:

I had the privilege Thursday night of moderating back to back appearances by the Boston mayoral candidates at the Boston Children’s Museum in front of an audience of experts on early childhood education. And I came away from it with renewed appreciation for what a thankless task it is to be a political leader.

Read Keller’s full commentary here.

Strategies for Children, one of the event’s co-sponsors recapped the conversation on their Eye on Early Education blog, detailing the comments from each candidate.  There was also a robust conversation on social media, as people shared and commented on what was asked and answered in real time.  You can check out the conversation in our Storify and see more photos in our Facebook album.

United Way works every day, with a network of best in class partners, to ensure children in our region enter kindergarten with the foundation for academic success so that they stay on track and graduate ready to compete and contribute as productive members of our community.  Both  candidates demonstrated an understanding of the importance of building that foundation for our children and fostering the right partnerships to make it happen.

Thank you to our 35 co-sponsors, especially Thrive in 5, Strategies for Children, and Boston Children’s Museum, as well as Jon Keller and both candidates for participating!