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Carla Thompson
Carla Thompson is vice president – program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich., in which role she leads the Education & Learning and Family Economic Security teams. Prior to joining the foundation in 2012, Thompson was deputy director of the Office of Child Care at the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was responsible for developing national early childhood education policy.

Entries by Carla Thompson

Innovative Community Organizations Lead New Efforts to Build Family Economic Security

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 1:57 PM

Parents want the best for their children, and constantly work to provide a strong future for their families, whether that's reading a book before bedtime or making sure their children eat nutritious foods. However, many parents face barriers to securing fair employment with good wages and opportunities for growth. We...

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Poll Highlights Importance of Nutritious School Meals for Every Child

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 7:08 PM


Last October, I wrote about Bistro Kids, a Kansas City-based program that augments the federally funded meals at Head Start preschools by connecting kids with healthy, local food, teaching them about good nutrition and giving them a hands-on experience to cook...

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Green Schoolyards Are a Win for Kids, Communities and the Environment

(5) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 6:14 PM

Imagine if every neighborhood in every city in America had a safe, vibrant and accessible outdoor place that served as a neighborhood hub. A place where kids could play and participate in sports; where neighbors could get together for a shared meal or a musical performance; where teachers could conduct...

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Early Returns: Bringing the Farm to Preschool

(1) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 9:34 PM

How do you get a 4-year-old to put down a bag of chips and pick up an apple?

There's no simple answer, as any parent can tell you, but what we're discovering across the country is that farm to preschool programs are a great way to start.

Ask Kiersten Firquain,...

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Family Engagement: The Top of Everyone's Back-to-School Checklist

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 3:00 PM

With the start of the school year just around the corner, now is an excellent time for all of us to renew our commitment to ensuring all children succeed. So what should be at the top of to-do lists as children head back to school? I suggest that families and...

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Infants and Toddlers Cannot Be Forgotten When Expanding Pre-K

(2) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 2:44 PM

Infant-toddler care continues to be among the most expensive types of child care for all families regardless of income. In the past few months, I've been talking with colleagues across the country trying to identify innovative practices and strategies focused on providing high quality care for infants and...

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Empowering Families to Set All Children on the Path to Success

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 3:31 PM

In ensuring a young child will be ready from day one for success in school and in life, the value of parents and families cannot be understated.

But a recent New York Times opinion piece from Keith Robinson and Angel L. Harris, the authors of "

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A New War On Inequality

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 5:22 PM

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "War on Poverty," and during the 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama made it clear that the "War on Poverty" is far from over. Highlighting the struggles millions of Americans face daily, the president...

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The Early Learning Challenge Fund: A Gift That Keeps on Giving

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 11:03 AM

It is no coincidence that one of the final moves made by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services this year was to announce the award winners of the latest Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. This $280 million federal investment in early childhood education...

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What It Takes to Help Children and Families Realize Their Full Potential

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 12:23 PM

A series of conversations on our nation's most pressing education challenges took place last month during NBC News' Education Nation Summit. Focusing on "what it takes" to turn our schools and communities around, teachers, parents, students, philanthropists, business leaders and education leaders gathered in New York City to share their...

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Connecting the Dots to Lift Families Out of Poverty

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 3:43 PM

The most recent U.S. Census data on poverty shows that we are still deeply engaged in the "War on Poverty." Moreover, because the economic turnaround has been slower than predicted for almost everyone, we find in the data that the lack of recovery is increasingly having a

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No Family Left Behind

(7) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 4:25 PM

Researchers working to understand the factors that contribute to or detract from student success are drawing a common conclusion: families matter, and so does the financial stability of those families.

Yet despite this well-known fact, much of the most passionate public debate on improving education...

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Pathways Out of Poverty Require Two-Generation Solutions

(3) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 11:17 AM

Here are some distressing facts: More than 32 million children live in low-income homes, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. Worse, children who spend half of their childhoods in "persistently poor" households are far more likely to endure poverty as adults, according to a study by the...

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Fostering Creativity and Lifelong Learning in Young Minds

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 10:58 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Sugata Mitra delivered everything you could want in a grand prize-winning TEDTalk -- it was timely, inspiring, provocative and highly entertaining. His central thesis that our...

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Making the Smartest Investment for Our Nation Through Its Most Vulnerable Children

(10) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 1:56 PM

Even in these tight fiscal times, if our nation could invest in young children right now in a way that was certain to yield future benefits many times over -- not just for them but for every American -- wouldn't we call that a smart investment?

That's exactly what President...

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