Community forum focuses on early childhood issues 

  • Assistant superintendent David Beauchamp discusses the importance of early childhood education at a public forum on Thursday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Jaffrey-Rindge parents and community leaders came together Thursday night for a forum on the importance of early childhood.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 03, 2016 9:12PM

Twenty-five of Jaffrey and Rindge’s community leaders and parents joined forces on Thursday night to discuss early education in the Monadnock region.

The forum, which took place in the Conant High School cafeteria, was a part of the Monadnock Region Community Action Forums on Early Childhood, a group of discussions that recently took place in the Monadnock region to talk about the importance of early childhood services and supports.

“It’s enormously important how we support children from birth to 5,” said Jaffrey-Rindge Superintendent Reuben Duncan. “What goes on in those early months and years is critical.”

The forums – facilitated by NH Listens and made possible by Impact Monadnock, Endowment for Health and United Way – were designed to collect information from community members about the importance of investing in early childhood.

The information gathered at the forums will be collected and given to various candidates running for office in New Hampshire. The dialogue will culminate in a Legislative forum on children and families in the region, which will take place on Oct. 10 at the Mabel Brown Room at Keene State College from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

A few major themes popped up during the discussion Thursday.

The Jaffrey-Rindge community needs more access to quality care and parents need more education about their options. Businesses and nonprofits need to create more partnerships that help out community members. We need to strengthen our middle class.

“I don’t have any children, but I would support having taxes go up,” said Jaffrey Children’s Librarian Andrea Connolly.

“Investing in our future will lead to better educated citizens.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com.