By Martha Brooks
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Oregon and ReadyNation Oregon have been proud and early supporters of Washington County Kids for many years as we all work to support proven early childhood education and care programs and after-school/outofschool programs for all of our kids.
For more than twenty-two years, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids has made the case for solutions that cut crime and put kids on the path to productive lives. Our more than 5000 members nationwide, with 140 here in Oregon, are police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, and attorneys general who know that early investments pay off in reduced criminal justice spending later.
ReadyNation is comprised of over 2000 business leaders globally, including over 50 in Oregon, who promote investments in children as the future workforce that will drive success in the global marketplace. For example, 62% of Oregon’s children under age 6 have both parents (or a single parent) working outside the home, and our members are concerned that many of these children are not in highquality child care.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids organizes “Cops & Tots” events as part of our efforts to advocate for increased state and federal funding for highquality early education programs.
Pictured here: Washington County District Attorney Bob Hermann, Ret.; Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton; and Beaverton Police Chief Jim Monger read to prek students at Vose Elementary School in May of 2018. They were even joined by a Police K9.
ReadyNation Oregon also supports greater investments in career & technical education and afterschool and outofschool programs. Our members have visited programs in schools to learn more about these innovative programs to share their success with local legislators. Now more than ever, employers need workers who have specific, practical skills as well as “executivefunctioning” skills like problemsolving, effective communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. Honing their abilities in these concepts helps students achieve “deeper learning,” paving the way for success in college or the workplace.
Our members speak to legislators at the state and federal level to share the latest research and communicate the impact of quality education and programs on children in Oregon. Pictured here: outgoing Marion County District Attorney Walt Beglau meets with U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici in her Washington, D.C. office in September of 2016.
ReadyNation Oregon member, Michael Harper participated in a panel at South by Southwest Edu in March titled “CitizenReady and CrimeFree: The Advantage of PreK” which was very well received by attendees. In addition to the importance of early education, Mr. Harper shared his perspective on the importance of postsecondary credentials.