Update - March 1

March 1, 2024

It has been another busy week. We have about nine weeks left in the 2024 session and the pace is rapidly increasing. If you're interested in any of the bills the committees are holding public hearings on, I encourage you to follow along, testify (either in-person or on Zoom), or submit testimony. Calendar and committee information can be found HERE.

This newsletter includes:

  • A Successful Early Childhood Forum
  • A Successful ArrayRx Event with Comptroller Sean Scanlon
  • Honoring Our Gulf War Veterans
  • Mix & Mingle with Early Childhood Education Providers
  • Torrington Library is Hosting a Blood Drive on March 7
Focusing on Early Childhood Forum
We had a wonderful and robust discussion with Drs. Dana Suskind and Pamela Truelove-Walker and members of the Early Childhood Caucus on Tuesday at our "Focusing on Early Childhood Forum." 

Dana Suskind, MD, Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning and Public Health at the University of Chicago, author of 2022's "Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise," and Pamela Truelove-Walker, Ed.D., Director of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Strategy at the TMW Center, were our special guests. 

Dr. Suskind noted that 85% of the physical growth of the human brain is in the first two years of a child's life, unlike other mammals. She said the universe expected us to finish off that development in the form of nurturing interactions. Nurturing interaction feeds the brain and helps develop cognitive and non-cognitive skills. But much of the focus is on K-12, not those first few years when development is happening.

The United States spends less on early childhood education and care than any other developed nation, and a fragmented system is the result of that underfunding. 

The suggestion is one that we in the early childhood sphere know, hear, and share often - we need to invest. Invest in wages for our hard-working early education professionals, invest in high-quality slots, and invest in the system overall. And parents throughout the country need support and choices. 

Those of us who were in that hearing room know this - we need to continue to make it known outside of that hearing room. Connecticut has policies in place that we know work and are models for the country. We also must invest in programs and wrap-around services that empower parents and grow opportunities for our youth. And finally, parents need living wages, housing security, and high-quality health care. 

Thank you to Merrill Gay at the CT Early Childhood Alliance for helping facilitate the visit with Dr. Suskind and Dr. Truelove-Walker.  

You can watch the full event on CT-N HERE. WTNH posted the station's coverage of the event HERE

Array RX Event at Sullivan Senior Center
We had a great turnout at the Sullivan Senior Center to talk about the state's Array Rx program on Thursday. Thank you to everyone who came out to learn more about the program and how they can save money on prescriptions. To learn more about the program, visit arrayrxcard.com. You can find out more about the Sullivan Senior Center HERE
Honoring Our Gulf War Veterans
The Torrington Veterans Support Committee and its member groups invited residents to join them in their Gulf War Veterans Day Observance last Friday at the Coe Park Civic Center. Thank you to our Gulf War veterans. Your service is very much appreciated.  
Mix & Mingle with Early Childhood Education Providers
I had a great time mixing and mingling with area early childhood education providers at the Kidsplay Museum this week.
Red Cross Blood Drive in Torrington
The Red Cross will be at the Torrington Library on Thursday, March 7, for a blood drive. Donors of all blood types are needed now to help overcome an emergency blood shortage.

You can register for your appointment HERE or through the Red Cross Blood Donor App.