In the wake of last week’s horrific shooting in Aurora, now is an especially crucial time to sing the praises of something really good that is happening in Colorado.

Today’s post isn’t quite like many of the others on this blog.  It’s not about an organization that is helping kids in tough circumstances to turn their lives around.  Instead, it’s about kids getting help from the earliest possible age so that they may avoid those tough circumstances altogether.

Let’s face it: The odds are not great for kids born into low-income families.  By the time they reach age 2, so many have already become another statistic in the academic achievement gap.  But these odds can be reversed.

Wild Plum Center for Young Children & Families, based in Longmont, enables kids born with the deck stacked against them to overcome as many barriers to their development and education as possible.  The goal is a simple yet crucial one: to prepare them to enter kindergarten at age five.

Among the valuable programs this organization offers is Head Start, an intensive early childhood enrichment program that has been proven to promote kindergarten readiness.

Supporting an enriched early childhood education for the population of kids Wild Plum serves is one of the best investments we can make.  In enabling these kids to avert future turmoil in their lives and be on the path to a successful future, we actually save money.  These kids grow up to be productive contributors to our economy rather than expenses for our criminal justice and social welfare systems.

Here’s how you can volunteer or make a donation.