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The Leader – June 2014

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Educare Early Education School Becoming a Reality

By Dennis Cima, Senior Vice President

Educare of California at Silicon Valley celebrated its groundbreaking milestone today in San Jose for a 28,000-square-foot school that will serve 168 low-income young children and their families with a research-based program proven to prepare children for kindergarten, in addition to being an institute for early learning professionals and researchers.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group has been part of a robust public-private regional partnership to bring an Educare school to Silicon Valley – the first in the state. This effort, spearheaded in partnership with FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, the Health Trust, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, the Franklin-McKinley School District, and others, has raised more than $13 million for the school’s capital campaign in addition to countless volunteer hours to develop the center’s programming and operations.

Educare is not a program or curriculum. Educare is an institute designed to improve the quality of early education, child development and family engagement. It will also be the state’s leading teacher professional development institute; a place to scale best practices in early education beyond its walls, a high quality early learning environment; a place to engage and equip families and a center for research and public policy. Quality early interventions, in health, family engagement and direct care can make a significant positive difference, particularly for children in our most challenged communities. The Educare school, on the Santee Elementary School campus, will join the national Educare Learning Network of high quality centers engaged in practices to improve educational outcomes in neighborhoods across the nation.

Silicon Valley’s Educare will house 12 high-quality classrooms for children 0-5 years old and spacious outdoor learning environments, providing direct year-round services to the students and their families. The site also will use the best of Silicon Valley to train teachers from throughout the region, state and nation. Educare will serve as a hub for parent support, providing parents and families the resources they need to help their children thrive in our K-12 schools.

Finally, Educare Silicon Valley will be a place where policymakers from around the region, state and nation can visit to see what high quality education and support looks like. As a public policy organization, we are excited to have such an asset like Educare in San Jose and the Bay Area, and the support of a national network of schools as we continue to advance the investments in early learning.

We are proud of this incredible milestone and believe that Educare is a game-changing endeavor improving the quality and scope of early education in California.

Support Educare by helping us furnish and outfit the Educare center for children and families at For more information about today’s groundbreaking, view the press release here.

Building a Valuable and Lasting Enterprise in an Era of Climate Risk & Water Scarcity

By Mike Mielke, Vice President, Environmental Programs & Policy

From Davos to New York to San Francisco, from Coca-Cola to Private Equity to Cisco, climate change and water security is increasingly on the minds of business executives. The reason is simple: Traditional sources of business value are being eroded and new opportunities are being created.

This was brought home at this year’s World Economic Forum – the annual gathering of many of the world’s influencers and decision-makers. Global leaders put both climate change and water security at the top of the agenda. Both issues were ranked as a top five global risk, with the potential to seriously disrupt business supply chains, impact food production, threaten economic stability and harm global security. Under a business as usual scenario, we are looking at increases in the amount of heat-trapping gases we pump into the atmosphere and heightened competition for increasingly scarce resources like water.

On June 13, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Energy and Sustainability Summit will bring together more than 300 businesses, nonprofit and public sector leaders to share best practices and lessons learned in applying new technologies to help secure global prosperity in an era of climate change and water scarcity. The Summit will feature several C-suite plenary panels as well as case studies and presentations on best practices in water and energy efficiency, the water-energy nexus, public-private partnerships, renewable energy, carbon management and the evolution of smart cities. Register here.

Climate change and water scarcity present not only strategic risks to businesses, but also opportunities to meet new demands as we seek to drive efficiencies, get more from less and reduce our collective impact. Global CEO’s are paying attention. Consider these data points from the Pricewaterhouse Coopers 17th Annual Global CEO Survey:

  • 80 percent of CEOs believe it’s important to measure and try to reduce their environmental impact.
  • 46 percent of all CEOs believe that resource scarcity and climate change will transform their business.
  • 21 percent of CEOs plan to help reduce poverty and inequality in the next three years.

The challenges we face are considerable. More than ever, business ingenuity and entrepreneurship are needed, especially Silicon Valley’s brand of game-changing innovation.

One of the areas that will be examined at the Summit is information communication technologies. The event will also explore how our energy infrastructure is undergoing a rapid transformation, as on-site energy generation and local microgrids become more prevalent and the traditional grid evolves to become smarter, more robust and flexible.

We hope you will join us to learn how to employ the latest technologies and practices to create value and to learn what you can do on a practical level to prepare for this changing landscape. Click here to learn more. Click here to register.

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