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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 4, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Nickels’ $9 million youth-violence initiative

Start at the beginning

Bob Young reported on Sunday that Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, in response to recent teen deaths, is proposing a $9 million initiative to prevent youth violence [“Gang ties suspected in shootings near Garfield High School,” News, Nov. 2].

Monday’s Jerry Large column outlines the most effective place to invest that money [“Education gap starts early,” staff columnist, Nov. 3]. Large states, “. . . although most of our children are born with incredible potential, far too many of them never see their promise fulfilled because unnurtured potential withers. If letting that happen to children isn’t criminal, I don’t know what is, especially since we know how to avoid it.”

Investing in an organization such as Child Care Resources to assure that every child has a great start is an investment in our future. An initiative to simply assuage the immediate pain of a young life lost is shortsighted.

Research confirms a proven correlation between quality early-childhood education and decreased crime, incarceration and high-school dropout rates, ultimately saving $7 or more for every $1 invested.

Despite pending slashes in government budgets we must demand support of early learning to launch a child toward a more productive life.

Mayor Nickels, we’ll help you effectively invest that $9 million and when you leave office, you can also leave a legacy.

— Nanny and Ken Stephens, Seattle

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