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Concord hosting special showing of WV child development documentary

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ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University is hosting a special screening of a documentary that explores the long-term educational challenges for children in low-income homes.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's The First 1,000 Days: Investing In WV Children When It Counts will be shown on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. in the Alexander Fine Arts Center Main Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. A panel discussion will follow the viewing.

The hour-long documentary explores how poverty affects early childhood development and the special challenges faced by families in which adults either have low-paying jobs or are unemployed. West Virginia Public Broadcasting's award-winning producer John Nakashima looks at three statewide early-education programs that help parents and caregivers make the most of a child's first 1,000 days: the time of life when the majority of brain development occurs.

“A child's first 1,000 days occurs only once in a lifetime,” said the film's producer John Nakashima. “But so many parents are struggling just to keep their family afloat that quality time during these crucial years is very difficult to achieve.”

The programs featured in the film are In-Home Family Education, Birth to Three, Early Head Start, and Head Start. Two Concord University graduates who are working with one or more of these programs, Akeya Bozman-Carter '10 and Sabrina Shrader '08, have first-hand experience in what it's like to grow up in poverty and are now using their Social Work degrees to positively impact the future.

Shrader and Nakashima will participate in a panel discussion following the viewing. Also on the panel will be: Beth Sizemore, executive director of the Reachh Family Resource Center in Hinton, and Dr. Joan Pendergast, professor of social work at Concord University.

The First 1,000 Days: Investing in WV Children When It Counts, premieres Monday, Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting television. Funding for this program was provided by Catholic Charities of West Virginia and WVU Children's Hospital at Ruby Memorial.

For additional information on the preview, contact Jessica Lilly at 304-384-5981.

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