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Three weeks ago, we had an amazing turnout for the first Minga Forum - where business and community leaders gather to build a deeper understanding of community issues and how to help! Almost 70 business and community leaders from all sectors gathered for breakfast to envision a better future for our youngest citizens.

A BIG THANKS to our host, The Early Learning Coalition of Orange County; to our sponsors, accesso and Castle and Cottage Realty; and to everyone who attended and is interested in creating a better system of early childhood care and education.

NOW WHAT? Heed our CALL TO ENGAGE. Stay connected and informed, spread the word, and find opportunities for you and your companies to take the lead, collaborate with others, and make a real difference in our community. Here’s how --

1. Stay in the loop with Community Seal’s Minga Newsletters as our ideas become opportunities to get involved. Sign up on the home page.

2. Ask colleagues to sign up for the newsletter to grow the movement.

3. Like us on Facebook.

4. Review and share the Minga Infographic on Education on the Newsletter Archive page and look for education-related non-profits and programs to support NOW.

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT? According to James Heckman, a Nobel prize-winner in Economics, “the best return on investment is in quality early childhood development from birth to five for disadvantaged children and their families through better outcomes in education, health, sociability, economic productivity, and reduced crime.”

At a time when 90% of brain development happens, 67% of children younger than five experience trauma; and preschoolers are expelled four times more than children in K-12. In our community, preschool teacher turnover is 40%; a third of children entering Kindergarten are not ready; and half of children are not reading on grade level by 3rd grade. These children are four times less likely to graduate and contribute positively to the community.

Stay tuned! We hope you will stay involved, collaborate with others, and find a leadership role as we work with experts in the community to identify projects and initiatives to build a better system of early childhood care and education…

Because EDUCATION IS EVERYONE'S BUSINESS!

accesso, one of Community Seal's founding members, provides virtual queuing technology and innovative point-of-sale and ticketing software to top attractions around the world. They are also a shining example on how to build giving back into your mission, values, and policies. accesso Cares is the employee committee that manages monthly volunteer projects. In 2017, almost 100 accesso volunteers gave over 600 hours to the community.

But, they are not stopping there. Working with Community Seal experts, they are putting the finishing touches on an accesso Cares Social Responsibility Program to create more impactful partnerships with local non-profits and take a leadership role in helping the communities where they live, work, and play. Keep an eye out for this local technology company with a big heart!

Learn more at: https://www.accesso.com

We at the Community Seal are thankful for all of our founding members. You were among the first to believe in our mission to build stronger communities and businesses by growing philanthropy and are helping us grow a network of non-profits, businesses, and people that committed to giving back.

Thank you to the following Businesses and Non-profit Members. You are part of an exclusive and growing network of Founding 100 Community Seal Members!

- accesso

- BB&T Central Florida

- Castle and Cottage Realty

- Pascha Parrish

- Security 101 Orlando

- CECO

- Dave's House

- Florida Abolitionists

- Foundation for Foster Children

- HAPCO Music Foundation

- Next Step Orlando

- Sustainable Florida

- Teach for America

- United Against Poverty

- Watch Light Foundation

We welcome our newest founding non-profit member -- the Orlando REP Theatre. Orlando REP provides quality theatre for young audiences that enlightens, enriches, and entertains. The Orlando REP is a Central Florida gem that was founded in 1926.

In addition to its professional family productions at the historic theatre, the REP partners with UCF and other businesses in the community to expand its impact and reach with programs that encourage youth writing and productions, provide character training, social awareness and learning through the arts, and so much more. Learn more at: https://www.orlandorep.com

Castle and Cottage Realty, one of The Community Seal's newest Founding Members, provides a luxury-caliber service for high net worth and discriminating clientele from condos and town homes to high-end luxury properties in Central Florida. Castle and Cottage Realty and its owner, Katherine Bordelon, just celebrated its one-year anniversary and is committed to building a stronger community through giving back.

From Day 1, giving back to the community and adherence to social responsibility have been central to their mission. Castle and Cottage advocates for education by giving their time, talents, resources and support to Teach for America Orlando. They are also Ambassadors for MBA Orlando, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and support multiple non-profit organizations that are important to their agents and clients. Castle and Cottage Realty fully embraces the importance of being a responsible business through service and a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

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