April 14, 2009  •  Gertie & Mary  •  Articles - Save the Children

Promoting the principle that all children deserve an equal start in life, Jennifer Garner – actor, advocate and mother of two – is joining Save the Children’s U.S. Programs as an Artist Ambassador, the organization announced today. The U.S. division of Save the Children operates early education, literacy, nutritional and disaster relief programs that give a vital boost to children in struggling families.

As an Artist Ambassador for Save the Children’s U.S. Programs, Garner will focus on advocating for the expansion of the organization’s early education program. This public-private partnership brings highly trained experts into homes, providing parents with child-rearing and cognitive development tools for infants and toddlers. Today, 1 in 6 children in America live in poverty.

Garner recently traveled to California’s Central Valley and visited with Ysenea and her 12-month-old son Xavier, who live in public housing in Farmersville. Garner read to Xavier, played learning games that will help with his development and finger painted with him. She also listened to Ysenea describe the challenges she faces as a struggling young mother.

Following a tour of the area, she attended a book exchange program at the Sheridan School in Orange Cove where children with limited access to books at home or at school receive tote bags of books to keep for two weeks at a time. Garner read Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? to 3, 4 and 5 year olds at the school.

“Three-year olds don’t even have bootstraps to pull on. Our leaders in Washington and in the states must commit every resource to put all children on an equal path to success,” said Garner, a native of West Virginia and the daughter of a schoolteacher. “Working with Save the Children, I hope to help young mothers give the same educational boost to her son that I try to give my own toddler and newborn.”

Next month, Garner will be the spokesperson for Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers report, which will focus on Early Childhood Education around the world and in the U.S.

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