Strong, thriving kids grow into thriving adults who contribute to prosperous and healthy communities.
But right now, too many of our kids never have that chance.
Thousands of kids from low-income families lack access to everything from high-quality early childhood care and education to advanced placement classes in high school and enrichment activities. They fall behind their wealthier classmates by third grade — and many never catch up. They are less likely to go to college, less able to get good jobs and less ready to contribute to communities.
This is the trend that world-renowned sociologist Robert Putnam has labelled the “opportunity gap.”
Together, we can — and we must — narrow that gap. This is not only a social obligation, it is an economic imperative.
Vastly unequal access to opportunity — combined with an aging population and slower population growth — threaten New Hampshire’s long-term economic and social well-being. If we are to maintain our status as one of the best states in the country for children and families, all of our kids must have the chance to reach their full potential.
Together, we can make that happen.
Right now, New Hampshire’s opportunity gap is widening. Pockets of poverty are getting deeper. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 11 percent of kids in New Hampshire (or 28,000) are living in poverty — up from 6 percent in 2000. That is about equivalent to the combined populations of Portsmouth and Plymouth. (Under federal guidelines, a family of four with an income of $24,250 is considered to be in poverty.) And 44,000 of our kids, or 27 percent, are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch. In some districts, more than half of all kids qualify.
Our kids struggle in other areas, too: New Hampshire’s young people have among the highest rates of substance use in the country, and our students graduate with the nation’s highest debt load.
But there are proven solutions. We know that when kids have access to a range of opportunities throughout their lives, they are able to thrive and to become adults who sustain their communities.
To increase youth opportunity from cradle to career, the Foundation is redoubling efforts on behalf of New Hampshire’s kids. We are investing in four proven areas: early childhood development; family and youth supports; substance use prevention, treatment and recovery; and education and career pathways. Each area of investment aligns with work being done by the public sector, nonprofits, education and business. Each area of this important work needs generous donor support.
To achieve the goals of New Hampshire Tomorrow, the Foundation has made a commitment to invest $100 million over a decade in grants and scholarships, build and support multi-sector coalitions and advance sensible public policy.
And — because the resources, partnerships and action needed to move the needle on this issue are far greater than one community foundation could provide — we are working to multiply those funds and efforts with additional resources from local and national partners.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER
New Hampshire is up to the promise of increasing opportunities for our kids. Working together, we can do this. We have the resources, the relationships and the long tradition of bipartisan cooperation needed to narrow the opportunity gap.
What are you up to? Please join us with your best ideas, your energy, commitment, voices and resources to make sure that every one of our children has access to the opportunities they need to thrive. For our kids. For New Hampshire tomorrow.
The Foundation is investing $100 million over 10 years in four proven focus areas to increase opportunity for New Hampshire’s kids — from cradle to career:
All kids receive high-quality early care and education
MEASURE OF SUCCESS: More 25- to 34-year-olds in New Hampshire have a quality education, strong earning power and the skills to contribute to the state’s workforce and communities
NEW HAMPSHIRE TOMORROW LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
President and Founder
Families in Transition
and Co-Chief Executive Officer
CCA Global Partners
Sister Paula Marie Buley
Early Learning NH
Mountain View Grand Resort
Foxfire Property Management
and The Duprey Companies
Dr. Stephen Gehlbach
Dean Emeritus, School of Public Health and Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Community College System of New Hampshire
Endowment for Health
Founder and Principal
Four Tree Island Advisory LLC
Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld
The Episcopal Church of
Founder and Board Member
Former Senate President
New Hampshire State Senate
Southern New Hampshire Services
Former Governor of the State of New Hampshire
University System of New Hampshire
Rep. Latha Mangipudi
New Hampshire House of Representatives
President, New Hampshire
People’s United Bank
Founder and Chair
Chairman and CEO
J. Bonnie Newman
Business, Education and Government Leader
President and CEO
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
Amanda Grappone Osmer
Concord School District
Business and Industry Association
President and CEO
New Hampshire College and University Council
You can help
Please join us to ensure that all of New Hampshire’s kids have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Together, we can build a stronger New Hampshire tomorrow.