Join Community Voices for a conversation on early childhood years in our society and economy.  On Thursday, April 19, Craig Ramey, will present a talk titled, “Democracy, Employment, and Civility: The Crisis in Early Childhood Supports” in a 7 p.m. program at the Lyric Theatre.

Ramey is the founding director of several frequently cited early intervention programs including the Abecedarian Project, Project CARE, the Infant Health and Development Program, and serves as the chief science officer for the statewide preschool educational program for pre-kindergarten children in Louisiana. Currently Ramey is helping to launch a long-term longitudinal study of brain development known as the Roanoke Brain Study

Ramey will demonstrate how risk gets expressed in a child by 18 months of age (biologically, cognitively, and linguistically) and how high quality early care and developmental programs produce both short and long term benefits to children and families. Ramey will speak on why early childhood education provides such an excellent return on investment for at-risk children and families, and also for middle class families. Further the discussion will turn to the knowledgeable, skilled, energetic, and supported teachers and then why are they are in such short supply and so poorly paid if they are the key to overall success.

Ramey is the distinguished research scholar of human development at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, professor of psychology at Virginia Tech, and professor of pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.  He specializes in the study of factors affecting children’s health and the development of intelligence, social competence, and academic achievement.  Over the past 40-year he and his wife, Sharon Landesman Ramey, have conducted multidisciplinary longitudinal research with more than 100,000 children in over 40 states. 

The Community Voices speakers are engaged in fostering work that strengthens community.  Their leadership includes the capacity to speak cogently and concisely about their experiences, to tell stories that are revealing of their work, and to present ideas for change, ideas that matter.


Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance, The Community Foundation of the New River Valley, Virginia Tech Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships, The Floyd Country Store, Virginia Tech Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought, Planning, Governance and Globalization Program of Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Written by Andy Morikawa, faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy and Governance.
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