Shooting for the STARS in Akron

Guest Post \
June 20, 2019

By: Michael Douglas, Akron Beacon Journal, Editorial Page Editor

Kirstin Toth shared a long article in the New York Times Magazine with the board of the GAR Foundation. The foundation was looking to invest time, energy and money in early education. The senior vice president of the foundation thought the article pointed the way. The headline framed the challenge: “Why are our most important teachers paid the least?”

That was a year ago. On Jan. 31, the foundation announced the launch of STARS: Supporting Teachers and Ready Students, a $618,000 initiative to enhance early childhood learning in Akron. The two-year project takes aim at the problem identified by the Times report: Community-based preschools and day care centers in our poorest neighborhoods have much potential to enhance young lives, yet they lack the resources to make the sustained difference so many want to see.