When our students say, “I want to be a teacher and a scientist,” or “When I’m big, I want to be a Fire Chief,” we know we are paving a way to these wonderful opportunities. Orange Children & Parents Together understands that educating the whole child, as well as honoring the adult that they will become, means scaffolding a child’s cognitive development just as much as their social and emotional growth. Distinguished Professor of Economics, James J. Heckman, underscores the importance of the kind of work that we do on a daily basis in the classrooms and with the parents and families of our young students. Heckman promotes high quality early childhood education programs, like OCPT, because his research proves the positive life outcomes like school persistence, full-time employment, lifetime wages, better health and positive social behaviors that result from investing in young children early on. Our Strong Parents, Strong Kids initiative is meaningful and effective in creating long term and sustainable growth for children from at-risk backgrounds because like Heckman, we have proven results showing how parents are the catalyst for better education, health and economic outcomes for their children. It is our ongoing mission to provide family-friendly, community-based programs that enhance children’s growth, strengthen families, and foster healthy communities. Heckman echoes our mission, saying that “the earliest investment produces the best outcomes” for “individual flourishing and better economic and social outcomes for society.” Continue reading more enlightening research from economist James J. Heckman by clicking here.