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Early childhood expert to address Harpur Forum next week

It is the totality of a child’s experience that lays the foundation for a lifetime of greater or lesser competency,” says Craig T. Ramey. “Nothing is more deserving of our attention – nothing is more important to the future of our community – not government consolidation, tax reform or economic development – nothing matters more – than the first 69 months in the life and mind of a child.”

Ramey will speak about the effects of the early childhood experience on children’s intellectual and social competence at the Harpur Forum breakfast on Thursday, September 11, at the Binghamton Club in downtown Binghamton. He will present his research on the importance of early childhood education and intervention, along with his recommendations to community leaders to affect change. He will begin speaking at about 8 a.m.

Ramey holds the Georgetown Distinguished Professorship in Health Studies and is the founding director (with his wife, Sharon Landesman Ramey) of Georgetown University’s Center for Health and Education. He developed the Abecedarian (ABC) Project, a widely cited study that has documented multiple real world and long-lasting benefits of early childhood education and health care for children of poverty, which has been used to create a curriculum for children from birth to five years.

Ramey believes that “we’ve learned more about the brain and brain development in the past 10 years than in all of previous recorded history, and we have more than doubled our knowledge in the past five years.”

An advisor to many national initiatives in early childhood education, Ramey has studied the effects of early intervention for premature, low-birth weight children and recently completed a 31-site study mandated by Congress known as the Head Start Public School Early Childhood Transition Demonstration Project. He is currently collaborating on a multi-site project to prevent child neglect and is evaluating other initiatives across the country that are providing services to “at-risk” children.

Ramey has published more than 250 scientific papers and written four books. His most recent parenting books include Right from Birth: Building Your Child’s Foundation for Life and Going to School: How to Help Your Child Succeed, which have both received National Parenting Book Gold Awards and are the basis for two acclaimed public television series.

Called upon frequently by the national media for his expertise, Ramey also chairs the advisory committee on Head Start’s National Reporting System and the National Head Start Advisory Committee on Research and Evaluation.

The Harpur Forum serves business, professional and community leaders by bringing nationally known authorities to speak at Forum functions throughout the year. Limited seating is available on a first come, first-served basis at a cost of $10 for faculty and staff and $5 for students. Call Elena Backlund at 7-4390 for reservations.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08