Common Council President Cavalier Johnson
Press Release

Council passes resolution creating Early Education Task Force

The task force will launch a birth-to-school literacy initiative.

By - Mar 1st, 2017 03:26 pm

The full Common Council approved a measure today (Wednesday, March 1) forming an Early Education Task Force to address the early childhood achievement gap among Milwaukee children and to establish a unified, city-wide approach to literacy.

The resolution – authored by Alderman Cavalier Johnson and co-sponsored by Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Tony Zielinski, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Michael J. Murphy and Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II – creates a 13-member panel of civic and community leaders from the Common Council, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Succeeds, United Way, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and other key community organizations. The task force will launch a birth-to-school literacy initiative to promote greater equity among Milwaukee’s children as they enter school.

The panel’s work will include investigating ways to improve young children’s reading skills and reduce the achievement gap, as well as forming a plan to provide parents and caregivers with support and resources as they care for infants and young children and prepare them for school. These efforts will involve close partnerships with parents, caregivers, educators, day care operators and health care providers.

“There are some young students who started to learn the skills they need to succeed long before they ever set foot in a school,” Alderman Johnson said, “but there are also students whose home environments aren’t so supportive, and those kids can spend a lifetime trying to catch up.”

According to Alderman Johnson, the Early Education Task Force “will examine the issue and present recommendations to ensure that every child grows up in an environment that prepares them for a lifetime of learning.”

The resolution will align Milwaukee Public Schools outreach and early education initiatives with the Common Council’s Promise Zone initiative for community revitalization in distressed neighborhoods.

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