California news reel, raising america documentary
The Raising of America will reframe the way we look at early child health and development. This ambitious documentary series and multimedia initiative by the producers of UNNATURAL CAUSES: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? explores how a strong start for all our kids leads not only to better individual life course outcomes (learning, earning and physical and mental health) but also to a healthier, safer, better educated and more prosperous and equitable America.
The Raising of America includes an hour-long documentary for PBS broadcast and video release, 6 shorter video learning modules, an online learning center and a national public engagement campaign.
Preview work-in-progress footage from The Raising of America, scheduled for release Winter 2013/ 2014.
Scientists are now beginning to understand how who we become is shaped not just by our genes but also by our interactions with the environment; As the Berkeley Media Studies Group puts it, "What surrounds us shapes us." Early experience, beginning in utero, affects how our genes express themselves, shaping the architecture of our developing brains, our metabolism and other regulatory systems—for better and for worse.
What infants and toddlers need to thrive is no mystery: a safe, stable and stimulating environment. But too many of our babies enter life with the playing field already tilted against them. 24% of our children are born into poverty and 69% of those are children of color. They and their families face multiple adversities that threaten to "short circuit" the wiring of their developing brains with potential cumulative, long-term consequences.
Working families face many pressures from long workweeks and commutes, stagnant wages and high costs of quality child care to the fear of losing a job or even a home. Too many parents and caregivers are squeezed by stressful and chaotic conditions. These stressors can 'drip down' on young children and trigger the release of toxic chemicals which can alter brain development and other systems which influence cognitive, socio-emotional and physical health through the life course.
But the new scientific findings also suggest how changing public policies and strengthening communities can better protect and transform life prospects for all our children, especially our most vulnerable, while yielding huge, society-wide payoffs: lower medical and welfare costs, less violence and substance abuse, a better educated and more productive workforce and a narrowed achievement gap.
The Raising of America and its ensemble of multimedia tools will help users break free of the conventional mentalist and family bubble paradigms and better understand why a nurturing child ecology is not only the right of every infant, it's the cornerstone for a healthier, stronger and more equitable future for our nation.
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Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.