Jennifer Garner appeared on the House floor yesterday to give an urgent testimony to the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee.
Garner is an ambassador and trustee with Save The Children, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children in the US and around the world. In front of the subcommittee, Garner advocated for continued and additional federal funding for initiatives Save The Children had made for early childhood education in impoverished, rural communities.
She stressed that, “A brain in poverty is up against it, I’m telling you. A child who is not touched, who is not spoken to, who is not read to, or sung to in the first five years of his or her life will not fully recover.” Garner has been working with the organization for nine years, saying “I try to get out and make as many site visits as possible.”
She drew on her own upbringing in West Virginia which she described as, “one generation and one hollar removed from poverty.” Now, Garner is using her spotlight and experience to highlight children growing up in similar circumstances. “I couldn’t stand up for them. But I can stand up for their families now.”
Garner gave first hand accounts of her efforts with communities, retelling stories where mothers would come up to her and ask, “Can you help get my child into these programs? Can you just nudge us up on the waitlist? Is there anything you can do?” A proud mother herself, Garner couldn’t bear the thought of telling them no.
“These families know what it is to have this intervention, and they know what they’re losing when it’s gone.”
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