Democracy, Employment, and Civility: The Crisis in Early Childhood Supports

April 19, 2012  //  The Lyric Theatre

Dr. Ramey illuminated how risk gets expressed by 18 months of age (biologically, cognitively, and linguistically) and how high quality early care and developmental programs produce both short and long term benefits to children and families.  Where are we and where do we go from here in Virginia and the New River Valley?  How can early care and educations be scaled up statewide and have significant impact on school readiness academic achievement, and social adjustment?  Why does early childhood education provides such an excellent return on investment for at-risk children and families, and also for middle class families?  If knowledgeable, skilled, energetic, and supported teachers are the key, then why are they are in such short supply and so poorly paid?

CRAIG T. RAMEY is the distinguished research scholar of human development at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, professor of psychology at Virginia Tech, and professor of pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.  He specializes in the study of factors affecting children’s health and the development of intelligence, social competence, and academic achievement.  Over the past 40 year he and his wife, Sharon Ramey, have conducted multidisciplinary longitudinal research with more than 100,000 children in over 40 states. 

Ramey is the founding director of several frequently cited early intervention programs including the Abecedarian Project, Project CARE, the Infant Health and Development Program, and currently serves as the chief science officer for the statewide preschool educational program for Pre-K children in Louisiana.  Currently Dr. Ramey is helping to launch a long-term longitudinal study of brain development known as the Roanoke Brain Study.  Dr. Ramey is the author of more than 250 publications including five books.  He frequently consults with federal and state government, as well as private foundations and agencies, and the news media.

Sponsors and Partners

  • American Electric Power
  • Wells Fargo
  • Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
  • NRV Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance
  • The Community Foundation of the New River Valley
  • Virginia Tech Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships
  • The Floyd Country Store
  • Virginia Tech Department of Religion and Culture
  • Planning, Governance & Globalization Program (PG&G) of VT School of Public and International Affairs
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension
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