I confess. I’m going to boast about Best Beginnings. I prefer to think of it as simply relating how the work we’re doing with friends, allies, and partners is attracting notice, nationally and around the world.
Most recently, I received an e-mail from Tom, a Londoner who had seen an article in the “Bristol Bay Times” about Babies on Track. He followed the article to our link, saw the trailer, and was wowed by it. Tom works with a group in the U.K. that seeks to improve general awareness about brain development and its importance in the first few years of life. He bemoans what he calls the experts’ inability to communicate effectively about the issue and is always looking for ways to clearly articulate the importance of early brain development. He believes we’ve hit the mark. After inquiring about purchasing a Babies on Track package, he concluded with “Please keep up the great work.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard from distant lands. When Best Beginnings produced children’s activity guides in Spanish several years ago, we heard from people in Colombia, Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico – all clamoring for copies of the guides. We are not able to send them the actual guides, but we do send them electronic versions.
Our efforts to spread Imagination Library throughout Alaska have attracted attention from Canada and the U. K., as well as from the Dollywood Foundation, itself. They like Best Beginnings’ approach for engaging communities in early learning. Our emphasis on local volunteers and local support to start and sustain local Imagination Libraries is also being emulated. Our decentralized approach makes it much more likely that communities will keep their Imagination Library going and even build on it.
All this international attention is pretty gratifying. Our focus remains on Alaska, but this attention from far quarters tells me that Alaska is not alone in the need for resources to foster healthy early childhood development. And clearly we’re doing some things right. Not that I ever doubted it.