Why now?

Quite simply, our children cannot wait.

Children’s earliest learning experiences have an outsized impact on the rest of their lives, and our school systems are investing significant resources in programs for children from birth to age five—the most critical years for brain development.

High quality early childhood programs result in a 7%-10% return on investment for disadvantaged children annually.

However, research shows that these benefits can evaporate by 3rd grade if programs are not high quality.

Teacher training is the key to creating high quality programs with enduring results.

The Wonder of Learning Boston 2018 has a bold plan to educate the educators—at least 15,000 of them from the heart of Boston and beyond—in six months, inspiring and empowering all teachers to provide the highest quality programs for their young learners, reaching more than 700,000 children over two decades.

Return on investment

7%-10% ROI 

in early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children annually through better outcomes in education, health, social adjustment, economic productivity, and reduced crime.

Children without quality early education are:

 25% more likely to drop out of school

50% more likely to be placed in special education

60% more likely to never attend college

40% more likely to become a teen parent

70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime

Join us on this critically important mission to ensure that every child’s teacher is inspired and prepared to provide then best possible environment for learning, regardless of income or zip code.

The most ambitious, transformative early education event in our region’s history is coming to Boston, with bold plans to empower 15,000 educators and impact 700,000 students for many years to come.

“Investing in early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy for promoting economic growth. Our economic future depends on providing the tools for upward mobility and building a highly educated, skilled workforce. Early childhood education is the most efficient way to accomplish these goals.”

– Nobel Prize-winning economist
Dr. James J. Heckman

Key indicators

How will we know we are successful?

Initial measures of success will include the number of partnerships, the number of communities served, the number of attendees and return visits, and impacts and outcomes we observe in showcases and other reporting from schools and individuals who participate in The Wonder of Learning Boston 2018.

With our research partners, we will document progress in improvements to program settings in our region through key indicators including:


• Improved Impact on Policy to Practice
A shared vision of best practice by all stakeholders will inform policies that result in increased access to high quality programs.

• Increased Family Engagement
Community partnerships and pop-up events will position parents as informed first-teachers and advocates.

• Transformed Classroom Environments
Improved classroom environments will reflect state of the art learning labs with STEAM, 21st century skills, and socially collaborative opportunities.

• Richer Materials and Experiences
Attention to innovative materials will demonstrate an appreciation of multiple intelligences and offer greater sophistication in playful study.

• Personalized Observation and Assessment
Training in Documentation will allow individualized student portfolios aligned to standards.

• Integrated Emergent Curriculum
Interdisciplinary, project-based, and hands-on learning will elevate rigor and engagement in the classroom.

• Visibility of Learning
Parents, community members, educators, and children benefit from continued conversations around the learning process and next steps. Neighborhood pop-ups, monthly showcases for teachers, webinars, study groups, and semi-annual gatherings beyond the exhibition will put early learning at the center of civic life for years to come.

Marina Boni, a Boston public schools coach and mentor, describes the experience of studying the schools in Reggio Emilia as “the most transformative influence” on her practice.

The Wonder of Learning will open up dialogue, incubate new ideas, and deepen the conversation about the importance and attributes of high quality birth to age five education. Donate online today and be sure to sign up for the latest news and updates!

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Wise Words

“The cornerstone of our experience, based on practice, theory, and research, is the image of the child as rich, strong, and powerful. The emphasis is placed on seeing the children as unique subjects with rights rather than simply needs. They have potential, plasticity, the desire to grow, curiosity, the ability to be amazed, and the desire to relate to other people and to communicate.”
Carlina Rinaldi