Precious Minds, New Connections is a major initiative of the Foundation founded in our mission to produce “Profound Good” and focused on a root cause issue in our society. It falls within the Foundation’s program goal to free children from abuse and neglect. We believe the work of the Initiative will positively impact the lives of persons who are normally served within many of the program areas of the Foundation. Annual funding by the Foundation is approximately $3 million.
Parenting education is the principal thrust of the Initiative and is carried out through annual grants to 21 agencies and collaboratives in the Foundation’s four-county service area which includes Bandera, Bexar, Comal and Kendall counties. Dr. Megan Kromer, Ph.D., a consultant to the Foundation, directs the Initiative.
Precious Minds, New Connections is based on extensive research into early childhood development. The research shows that 80-90% of a person's brain develops by the age of three. The first three years of a person's life are truly the most formative years and affect the future potential of every person. It is critical that every parent and caregiver of infants and toddlers have access to the information and tools needed to make their child's first three years as productive and positive as possible. As parents, most of us take on the job without training, we usually spend more time preparing for a drivers license test.
The understanding of the critical early years of a person’s life is also important to every child. During this time, a child’s experiences will impact the ability to have healthy relationships with others during his or her lifetime. The foundation for having self-esteem is developed or possibly lost. The potential for educational success is maximized or impaired. Parenting education enables parents to understand early childhood development and realistic expectations for child behavior. All of this knowledge is known to lead to less likelihood that a child will be abused and his or her development neglected.