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Brainomics: How Improving Brain Health Impacts the Economy

The Huffington Post – Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D.

“A new study by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth finds that closing the education gap would increase economic growth and reduce economic inequality. It sounds great, but is it really that simple? I think so — I believe the brain is the most significant path to raise the standard of living, not just nationally, but globally…The study suggests several public policy strategies to close socio-economic gaps that affect academic performance, including greater investment in early childhood care and education, criminal justice reform and family-friendly workplaces. However, there is another area crucial to educational achievement and life success: cognitive development and brain health. This area of science is concerned with the health and development of a child’s brain and how that is impacted by his or her external environment…The Washington Center study — correctly — notes the importance of early childhood education in closing achievement gaps. However, new scientific evidence shows there is another window of opportunity for gains: in middle school. Rapid frontal lobe development and pruning during adolescence makes middle school the perfect time to positively impact cognitive brain health.”(more)

Poor Diets Begin in Infancy, But Poverty May Not Be Cause

Education News – Jordan E. Wassell

“A study conducted by researchers…found shocking differences in the food babies in different socioeconomic classes are fed…Babies who had diets filled with sugar, fat, dairy and regular cereal generally came from households that had an annual income of $25,000 or less…the food they [babies] are given within the first year will affect their palates in the long run, which is very difficult to reverse.” (more)

Early Childhood Education Boosts Lifetime Achievement, Paper Finds

The Wall Street Journal – PEDRO NICOLACI DA COSTA

“Investments in early childhood education can pay for themselves because they substantially boost students’ chances of educational and economic achievement over the course of their lives…“The benefits of even a moderately effective early childhood education program are likely to be substantial enough to offset the costs of program expansion,” the authors say.” (more)

Skills Gaps for Online Reading Linked to Family Income

Education Week – Benjamin Herold

“…a new study…found “a large and significant achievement gap, based on income inequality, in an important new area for learning—the ability to read on the Internet to learn information”…In an age when the Internet is an increasingly essential daily tool for seeking understanding and communicating, such findings could have significant implications for schools…”active, successful participants in this 21st century global society must be able to develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology”” (more)

Cynthia Kersey helps girls become ‘unstoppable’

The Christian Science Monitor – Gregory M. Lamb

“Today the Unstoppable Foundation educates about 6,500 girls a day in Kenya, Uganda, and Liberia. It has also taught more than 3,000 of their parents how to earn an income and given more than 17,000 people access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare. That’s all part of the foundation’s “Five Pillars” strategy: Children can’t get an education…unless other basic needs are met, including clean water and sanitation, nutritious food, basic healthcare, and parents with income-earning skills.” (more)

Program shows girls economic opportunity of STEM education

California Economic Summit – COURTNEY M. FOWLER

“California is home to Silicon Valley and thousands of other computer and industrial engineering positions. For that reason, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education has become imperative for young students to learn in order to keep the state economy competitive. One of the key ideas is getting young women actively involved in STEM education through both traditional and non-traditional methods.”(more)