|By PR Newswire||
|April 8, 2014 08:50 PM EDT||
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the heels of March Madness, Save the Children paid a tribute to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's past days on the basketball court by presenting the former professional ball player with a personalized #DunkinDuncan basketball. Secretary Duncan spoke about the importance of early childhood education during Save the Children's Advocacy Summit on April 8, in front of an audience of students who travelled across the country to Washington, D.C., to learn how to become an effective voice for children.
"Was your shooting percentage better than your bracket, Secretary Duncan? Either way, we sure are glad you made a career change," said Save the Children's senior vice president Mark Shriver, who presented the special recognition to Secretary Duncan. "Joking aside, as the Education Secretary, Mr. Duncan is a staunch supporter of early learning opportunities for all children, which is the key to our country's future. The nearly one in four children living in poverty in America fall 18 months behind by age four. Yet, two out of five kids are not enrolled in preschool."
"Every parent in this country wants the best for their kids. What every parent doesn't have is opportunities," said Secretary Duncan. "We keep talking about the achievement gap. I am more interested in talking about the opportunity gap."
The highlight of the Advocacy Summit is a visit to Capitol Hill on the second day, so young advocates can meet with legislators and urge them to support policies that put children first, such as President Barack Obama's plan to provide early learning opportunities to all children.
Among a number of high-profile guest speakers at the Advocacy Summit were U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR); U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA); Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY); actress, platinum-selling recording artist and youth advocate Bridgit Mendler, known for her star role on the Disney Channel's Good Luck Charlie series; Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports; Cokie Roberts of ABC and NPR; and CNN's Kevin Madden and Stephanie Cutter.
Designed to encourage youth across America to become advocates for children around the globe, Save the Children's Advocacy Summit is broadcast live online from 3 p.m.to 5 p.m. EST on April 8, and from 9 a.m.to 10 a.m. EST on April 9. To view the live stream, visit: www.savethechildren.org/virtual-summit.
Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Ajla Grozdanic, 202.251.5859, [email protected]
SOURCE Save the Children