Raising Every Child

Join Family Services and Special Guest Dr. Robert Anda to learn about the largest, most important study you’ve never heard of.

When children thrive, we all thrive. Unfortunately, children across North Carolina suffer Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in various forms of abuse and neglect. These experiences can include things like physical and emotional abuse, neglect, caregiver mental illness and household violence.

The trauma of ACEs can cause children to develop “toxic stress”—which is possibly the single largest public health issue of our generation—affecting them not just emotionally but psychologically and biologically.

No one knows this better than Rob Anda, who has spent 20 years conducting research as a medical officer in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. His research involved a variety of areas, including disease surveillance, behavioral health, mental health and disease, cardiovascular disease, and childhood determinants of health.

He played the principal role in the design of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and served as its Co-Principal Investigator. He has presented findings from the ACE Study at Congressional Briefings and numerous conferences around the world. The ACE Study is being replicated in numerous countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is now being used to assess the childhood origins of health and social problems in more than 30 US states.

Delivering On A Promise

June 2014

A group of local early childhood professionals comes together to form the Universal Pre-K Steering Committee to explore how to improve the quality and expand the capacity for four-year-olds.

March 2015

Universal Pre-K Initiative Steering Committee convenes a forum for professionals involved in early childhood education work to discuss the factors that need to be considered in creating a quality Universal Pre-K system.

May 2015

Harvard University study finds that Forsyth County is among the worst counties in the U.S. for helping poor children escape poverty.

October 2016

Robert Putnam presents his groundbreaking research on the “opportunity gap” and begins a community conversation. The Universal Pre-K Initiative position paper is published and shared with community.

March 2017

Billionaire philanthropist George Kaiser speaks to local leaders about how Oklahoma introduced Universal Pre-K.

July 2017

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust grants funds to Family Services to hire a coordinator to aid the work of the Universal Pre-K Steering committee. Workgroups form and make a plan.

October 2017

Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone in Harlem, NY, teaches us that “what happens by age 5 lasts a lifetime.”

June 2018

Community listening sessions are held at various locations to better understand the perception of Pre-K.

October 2018

The Universal Pre-K Steering Committee names its effort The Pre-K Priority and launches the PreKPriority.org landing page.

November 2018

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust grants funds to Family Services for community-wide advocacy awareness campaign launched in fall 2019.

April 2019

Pre-K Priority reports its findings and recommendations in “Building the Foundation for the Future of Forsyth County.”

May 2019

Third annual Raising Every Child benefit luncheon and community conversation with Dr. Ken Dodge.

September 2019

Public awareness and advocacy campaign will launch on the community-wide, long term benefits for child, family and community.


Will the promise be fulfilled?