The pandemic has been hard on all of us – disrupted routines, stress and mental health challenges, isolation, economic challenges, and so much more. It is important to recognize that missed plans can be rescheduled and relationships with friends and family can be rekindled. However, brain development doesn’t wait and cannot be rescheduled for another time. 90% of brain development occurs within the first five years of a child’s life. Children in this critical stage are facing life-long negative impacts to their development.
The past 18 months, we’ve felt these challenges through conversations with parents, partners, and kids themselves. However, we are now seeing data emerge showing that Growth is at Play in our community. According to the Ages and Stages Screening data in Outagamie and Winnebago Counties, during the first year of the public health crisis, we saw in children under the age of 5:
• 46% increase in the rate of fine motor skill delays
• 27% increase in the rate of gross motor skill delays
In times like these, we need to focus our investments on insulating children from the long-term impacts of the pandemic through proven, evidence-based interventions. In a two-year longitudinal study, early elementary school children that participated regularly at the Building for Kids demonstrated stronger growth in social self-confidence and improvement in academic performance in science, math, and reading as compared to the control group that did not.
As we look to the future, we need your help to ensure we can continue to present robust engagement opportunities for children in our community. By giving to the Building for Kids, you support evidence-based initiatives that help insulate children from the impacts of this crisis, accelerate their development and academic achievement, and build critical skills of resiliency to help them succeed.
Please consider making a donation today because it is Growth at Play.
To give, visit give.buildingforkids.org/growth.