What’s the difference between an anniversary and a birthday? Birthdays celebrate milestones in the life or growth of an individual—whether it’s a human being, an organization or even an idea. Anniversaries, on the other hand, are about partnerships—the bonds that hold marriages and other collaborations together. Anniversaries aren’t just about remembering the past. They’re also about celebrating the present and planning for the future.
Anyone who has celebrated an anniversary knows that relationships are more likely to reach major milestones when the partners make strong communication a priority. The Sixpence Early Learning Fund is an effective and enduring partnership built upon a dynamic conversation about what Nebraskans can do to ensure more of our youngest, most vulnerable children are prepared to succeed in school and life. That conversation has involved policymakers and private sector funders, higher education and business leaders, state agencies and community organizations, child care providers, and school districts. In 2006, these partners came together to create the Nebraska Early Childhood Education Endowment Fund, the bedrock Sixpence is built upon. In 2008, Sixpence began supporting local early learning partnerships between school districts, public systems, civic organizations, and service providers to meet the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers in 11 locations throughout the state. Ten years later, Sixpence community partnerships are active in 34 communities statewide and have given thousands of infants and toddlers a stronger start in life.
This is why it makes perfect sense that Sixpence is starting off its 10-year anniversary celebration with the launch of its new website. We’ve designed our new site to keep the lines of communication open and strong between early childhood professionals, legislators, funders, school administrators, and everyone else who has helped make Sixpence a success. We’ve outlined the key facts about brain and skill development in the infant and toddler years to explain why this developmental period is crucial. We’ve developed an overview of our core values—supportive parenting, public-private collaboration, and good stewardship—that make Sixpence a good investment in Nebraska and its citizens. We’ve also provided an overview of the developmental gains infants and toddlers are making in Sixpence-supported programs statewide. Finally, the site still provides a quick and efficient way for Sixpence grantees to share detailed information about their programs and report on their progress in working with parents and children.
We will continue to enhance and add to the website as we move forward. Our goal is to keep our partners and colleagues well-informed about Sixpence, our successes, and the challenges and opportunities still ahead of us. If we can keep that conversation going strong, even more children will be growing toward happy, productive, and fulfilling lives by the time Sixpence reaches its next anniversary milestone. Be sure to stop by and let us know what you think.
Amy Bornemeier, Associate Vice President of Early Childhood Programs