George and Betsy Sherman: Getting to the Starting Line
December 29, 2015
“To invest in our future, we need to invest in our children,” insists Betsy Sherman. “We have to give every child the opportunity to have a great start in life.”
With a background in early childhood education, she is determined to act on that imperative. As engaged philanthropists in Baltimore, she and her husband George have become devoted supporters and champions of Judy Centers, which prepare children for school by connecting them and their families to educational, health, and social services that will facilitate early learning.
“We were trying to find ways to help improve early childhood education in Baltimore City, with limited success,” notes George. “BCF introduced us to the Judy Center concept, and it was exactly what we wanted—a comprehensive public-private partnership that was sustainable. BCF opened an opportunity for us that we couldn’t reach on our own.”
Investing in early childhood education helps narrow socioeconomic disparities and pays big dividends as children progress in school. With that in mind, the Shermans directed part of their philanthropic support to the Judy Center at Commodore John Rodgers School in East Baltimore.
“We’re focusing on schools in neighborhoods with the highest concentration of poverty and the lowest level of school readiness,” says Betsy. “Each Center is a sterling example of how a community can rise up and offer parents who don’t have resources the opportunity to get their child in the game—never mind ahead of the game. If we can get these kids to the starting line, their chances of successfully getting to the finish line dramatically increase.”
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