Joe Reardon Talks Muppets and Early Childhood Education


I didn’t know that interacting with Muppets was part of my job description – but my inner child was delighted to shoot a video with Elmo and The Count as part of our Pre-KC campaign.

The Muppets – and Sesame Street in Communities – are our partners in our Pre-KC initiative to increase the community’s awareness of the importance of early education. We’re partnering with Sesame Street in Communities, the Kauffman Foundation, and others to spread the word. The Pre-KC initiative comes out of our Big 5 goal to promote kindergarten readiness, co-championed by former mayors Carol Marinovich and Kay Barnes.

Did you know that, in Greater Kansas City, one in three children begin kindergarten lacking the skills necessary to succeed? Research shows that it’s during the first five years of life that our brains develop the fastest. Provide a child with quality early education and the results are stunning – enhancing success, and reducing juvenile delinquency, addictions, school dropout rates, and learning disabilities.

On our Leadership Exchange trips and other visits, we’ve learned that other cities and states provide universal pre-K education for their youngsters. We believe raising the level of awareness about the importance of this issue is critical to the future of KC and an important part of the Chamber’s mission. (After all, we’re talking about our future workforce.) We’re excited to be part of such a great cause.

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