Photos: Early Childhood Education Dream + Design Kickoff

Tomorrow Builders Fellowship

“But nothing less than the most radical imagination will carry us beyond this place, beyond the mere struggle for survival, to that lucid recognition of our possibilities which will keep us impatient, and unresigned to mere survival.” – Adrienne Rich

To date, over 1000 St. Louis residents have shared their dreams with the Tomorrow Builders for a better early childhood education system. To build off these 1000 dreams of change, the Tomorrow Builders Fellows hosted the Early Childhood Education Dream + Design Kickoff on July 20th with facilitation support from Forward Through Ferguson.

165 community members, educators, and change makers from throughout the St. Louis region attended to co-create a shared dream to guide the design and implementation of solutions for our region’s youngest. This event kicked off a set of early childhood education Solution Teams aligned with key areas for systems change—quality, workforce, funding & access, family well-being, and governance & coordination.

At the Kickoff, the Tomorrow Builders presented a selection of community members’ dreams, a preview of survey data analysis, and research findings grouped by these five key areas via a gallery walk. By the end of the morning, the group developed a shared dream and committed to come together in October to review solutions together!

Click to enlarge the photos.

So, we did it—We came together. We humbly acknowledged the challenges too many of our region’s children, future children, their families, and communities face daily. Yet, we dared to dream. We dared to dream of a better tomorrow, where those challenges will be eradicated and replaced with equitable opportunities for every child to be able to thrive. We dared imagine what’s possible. 

But, we can’t stop dreaming. We must design and commit to a clear path to get us to the tomorrow that our children deserve. 

So, join us! RSVP to join us and activate your power, to transform our radical imaginations into a future we can celebrate—one where every child and family has access to a high-quality early childhood education experience that is a springboard to a life of opportunity.

Special thanks to EdHub for support with the event space and to our partners, SkipNV, Clark Fox Policy Institute, and Southside Early Childhood Center. Photos by Justin Solomon.