2016 Raising Every Child Program
2016 Raising Every Child Photo Gallery

Raising Every Child Tickets

Raising Every Child Benefit Luncheon with Robert Putnam. November 1, 11:30 AM. Downtown Marriott

This week, Family Services launched a landmark annual event to build a community of champions committed to elevating the well-being of all children in Forsyth County.

Nationally acclaimed social scientist and Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam helped inaugurate Raising Every Child at three sold-out events that inspired 425 community leaders to consider how to close the “opportunity gap,” which prevents communities like ours from flourishing.

“As a country, we cannot afford to throw away nearly one-third of our smartest kids just because they happen to have parents who make less income,” said Robert D. Putnam in his keynote address, based on his bestselling book entitled “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.” This should concern us, said Putnam, because the cos

t of caring for those children as they grow into adulthood and old age will ultimately fall on our grandchildren.

“It’s going to cost future generations billions of dollars,” Putnam said. “Young kids living in poverty are learning very poor health habits. That means they’re going to get sicker earlier and more often. Who’s going to pay for that? My [granddaughter] is going to pay for that. The biggest part of it, if the bright kids from the low socio economic group did get the right support or education, they would be helping the whole economy grow. This is not a matter of altruism; it’s actually costly to not help, though I also believe it is morally right to help.”

The good news is that we can close the widening gap between children who have access to opportunities and children who are excluded. “We’ve achieved this before,” said Putnam, describing a similar circumstance at the turn of the 20th century when our country created a system of universal high school education was created.

“The equivalent 21st century project is early childhood education.”

Raising Every Child addresses the opportunity gap in Forsyth County and provides a forum for community champions to come together and affirm their commitment to make Forsyth County the best place in North Carolina for families with young children.

“There are times when a singular event can crystallize a community’s commitment to a great cause,” said Bob Feikema, President and CEO of Family Services.

“Together we can create a community of opportunity and raise every child to lead a fulfilling life.”