chris-ellisby Chris Ellis
Partnership Director, Early Learning Outcomes

As we continue our work to improve outcomes for the youngest children in our communities, we have been inspired by a new documentary, The Raising of America. This five-part documentary discusses many of the issues that impact young children and their families nationally, but also locally, in the Salt Lake City area. Recently, I was invited to attend the first public screening of the first episode of the documentary and participate on a panel with early childhood leaders from Utah to discuss how the film applies to our local work.

The first episode of the documentary, Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation, highlights the disparity in well-being for young children in the United States compared to other countries in the world. United Way of Salt Lake has developed a Collaborative Action Network, a group of partners committed to working together to improve outcomes for all children and families in our State, focused on early childhood education to address this disparity in our communities. In numerous discussions, these partners have recognized the importance of addressing the holistic needs of young children and their families, a point that the documentary emphasizes in great detail. This documentary reinforces our local efforts, and the public screening provided an opportunity to share this work with interested individuals.

Raising AmericaNearly 80 individuals attended this event to view the first part of the documentary and participate in a spirited discussion. These individuals represented various organizations and perspectives and greatly added to the dialogue. All participants were excited to apply the learnings from the documentary and the panel discussion to their work with young children and their families. This documentary is a moving commentary on the state of early childhood in our country and will lead to many important conversations as we work together to improve early childhood outcomes in our State.

We invite you all to watch!

The Raising of America