What Is A Minga Forum?

A Minga Forum engages citizens from all sectors to understand the issues and invest time and money in their local community to solve problems, create systemic change, and build stronger local communities.

Why Is It Different? Three reasons --

1. starts with building the case for change (why is this important)

2. pursues system-level change and scales programs that work

3. engages business and community leaders to build support and collaboration

Why Invest in Early Childhood Care and Education?

Over a THIRD of children in our area entering Kindergarten are NOT READY, and HALF of third graders are NOT READING on grade level -- leading indicators of graduation rates, employment, marriage and health outcomes, and even incarceration rates. Children not proficient in reading by third grade are 4 X's LESS LIKELY TO GRADUATE on time.

Solving this problem is not only an urgent social need but an economic imperative. Investing in quality early childhood care and development for all our children yields short-term and long-term returns by improving education results and achievement gaps, reducing social spending, and ultimately building a stronger local workforce, economy, and community.

According to James Heckman, Nobel Laureate in Economics at the University of Chicago, "Quality early learning and development programs for disadvantaged children foster valuable skills, strengthen our workforce, grow our economy, and reduce social spending." Oprah Winfrey has launched a campaign on the importance of focusing on early childhood trauma, saying “Investing in high-quality early childhood programs could avoid the expensive, often inefficient or ineffective interventions required later.” A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation called "Why Reading in Third Grade Matters" states that "focusing on grade-level reading proficiency at third grade is an essential step toward increasing the number of children from low-income families who succeed academically, graduate from high school on time, and do well in life and the workforce."

What's Next for the Minga Forum on Education?

Over 70 business and community leaders from all sectors turned out for the first Minga Forum on Education workshop where we all learned more about the issues in early childhood care and education in our community and envisioned a better future.

Solving this problem in our community requires the collective efforts and resources of leaders from all sectors. At the next Minga Forum on Education workshop, we will be building a common understanding of the current system of early childhood care and education and drafting a new system that scales what works and closes the gaps. Please mark your calendars for the second Minga Forum on Education workshop on October 11th from 11 AM to 2 PM. Details about the workshop will follow soon.

We are looking for business and community leaders to take a seat at the table, roll up their sleeves, and make a real difference! Hope to see you in October.

Because EDUCATION IS EVERYONE'S BUSINESS!

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 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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