21 Manchester Municipal Candidates Sign Pledge to Prioritize Early Childhood Education

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 29, 2015) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) announced today that 21 candidates for Manchester Board of Aldermen and Board of School Committee have signed onto their Don’t Wait. Educate. campaign’s statement of principles.

“By doing so, these candidates agreed to make early childhood education a priority and will work to increase access and improve the quality of early learning for all Manchester kids,” said Mark Shriver, president of SCAN.

By signing the statement of principles, the candidates pledged to “find ways to allocate funds toward public early childhood education and explore innovative public-private partnerships that can expand access to pre-K throughout Manchester” during their next term in office.

Don’t Wait. Educate. campaign co-chairs Chris Stewart and Meryl Levin, both of Manchester, also announced the release of a new radio ad they recorded this week. The ad, which will air this weekend, highlights the important role early childhood education will play in the citywide election on November 3rd.

“In New Hampshire, we barely go a minute without hearing a political ad about Washington. But the elections that affect us most are often a lot closer to home,” the ad states. “We know that high-quality early childhood education is the investment our city needs.”

Stewart, a former member of the Board of School Committee, expressed confidence in Tuesday’s election. “We’re so excited so many Republicans and Democrats have stepped up and signed our pledge. We are going to hit the ground running when the new boards are sworn in in January,” he said.

Levin, who was the founding board chair of the Mill Falls Charter School in Manchester, said: “Manchester families want expanded early childhood education. And it’s clear the city needs it. Now there finally appears to be political will among office seekers to make it a reality.

The Don’t Wait. Educate. campaign has conducted an unprecedented advocacy campaign for a Manchester city election. In addition to launching the new radio ads, by the time the election is over, Don’t Wait. Educate. will have:

  • Dropped 150,000 pieces of mail across the city to likely voters;
  • Canvassed 3,000 households;
  • Conducted more than 8,000 direct voter phone calls;
  • Run a targeted online advertising campaign;
  • Garnered earned media, including an op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader and appearance on New Hampshire Today radio show with Jack Heath;
  • Placed a full-page advertisement in the Union Leader touting the candidates who support early education.

The Don’t Wait. Educate campaign will continue to advocate for early childhood education after the election.

“We aren’t going away when the campaign is over. We plan to work with the people we help to elect to make quality early learning the law in Manchester,” concluded Levin.

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Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.