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‘No Small Matter:’ Documentary screened in Milwaukee sets out to strengthen early childhood education

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MILWAUKEE -- One city at a time, a group of filmmakers has set out to positively impact early childhood education. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, they screened their documentary -- "No Small Matter" -- to their first Milwaukee audience.

Some may say early childhood education is overlooked and undervalued. The filmmakers of this documentary set out to correct what they call "America's most pressing problem."

Greg Jacobs

"And that's by investing in high-quality early care and education," said Greg Jacobs, writer and co-director of "No Small Matter."

"No Small Matter" aims to shed light on the importance of preschool education.

"The film makes clear we know more than ever about childrens' brains and what they need to thrive," said Dan Bergen, executive director, Marquette University Office of Community Engagement.

Dan Bergen

Community members and local organizations -- like the Next Door Foundation -- gathered at Marquette's Tony and Lucille Weasler Auditorium to preview the film.

"Our nation's child care and educational systems have not caught up to this scientific reality," said Bergen. "This is not the way it is supposed to be."

"As proud as I am of the great successes we're having and the renaissance we're having in the heart of the city, I am very mindful of the growing poverty and the hopelessness we have in some parts of our city," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Barrett, however, said this effort cannot be tackled alone.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"The real work is done in the homes, in the child care settings, in the libraries and in the preschool settings," said Barrett.

Filmmakers -- hoping to inspire progress -- will continue to screen the film in various cities nationwide.

"To really make this an issue that people understand should be front and center," said Jacobs.

To learn more about "No Small Matter," or to get involved in the project, CLICK HERE. 

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