September 30, 2012

From the Executive Director

Posted in From The Executive Director tagged at 6:35 pm by Lund

Photo by Alison Redlich

Dear Friend,

Fall is synonymous for me with the start of a new school year. I still crave the concept of fresh new notebooks and returning to school.

We are grateful to Gadue’s Dry Cleaning, Charlotte Congregational Church, Merchants Bank and all the other groups, companies and individuals who have helped our clients start the school year with new backpacks filled with important school supplies. Thank you!

Though it’s been a while since I have been a “traditional matriculated” student, I consider myself a lifelong learner and continue to crave research and learning. Part of my dedication to lifelong learning is to keep up with all the exciting new research and information that is happening. I am profoundly affected by the research on early brain development and the importance of the first three years of a child’s life. We now know that these first three years are when much of the brain’s architecture and function occurs. What happens during these first three years will have a lifelong impact on development, ability to learn, and ability to regulate emotion.

In the article, The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress,” Jack P. Shonkoff and Andrew S. Garner write of the findings of a multidisciplinary team of researchers in human development,neuroscience, molecular biology, genomics, developmental psychology, epidemiology, sociology, and economics. We can better understand the impact of negative experiences in the first few years of life on a person’s health and disease outcomes across his or her lifespan. Shonkoff and Garner write of the “Disruptive impacts of toxic stress, and the causal mechanisms that link early adversity to later impairments in learning, behavior, and both physical and mental well-being.” They write of the, “Profound implications in our ability to enhance the life prospects of children and to strengthen the social and economic fabric of society.”

In other words, if we want children to thrive and really reach their potential, we now know how critically important a child’s experiences are in the first three years.

I touch on just one area of research and learning.

Creating a culture at Lund of learning, inquiry, and wanting to improve and grow as an organization and as individuals, is something that I strive for. An important strategy in Lund’s strategic plan is to improve services. Sharing a culture of learning and quality improvement is an important part of this initiative.

We owe it to the children and families we serve to grow and learn and to do what we can to help children thrive.

Thank you for your help in supporting Lund’s work.

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