On Thursday April 25th David Lawrence, Jr. will be the presenter at the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative Lunch and Learn at the First Presbyterian Church on Royal Palm Blvd. Time is 11:30-1:30pm. Cost is $55 and includes a signed copy of his book and lunch.
The same sense of fairness that drove his journalism career guided Lawrence’s second act as an advocate for early childhood development in Florida. In 1999, then-Florida Governor Lawton Chiles asked Lawrence to chair a task force on school readiness. Thus began Lawrence’s education on the importance of the early years for a child’s future success.
This became his rallying cry, and in 1999 when he retired from the Herald, Lawrence focused full-time on ensuring that every child in Florida is given the best start possible in his or her early years—through the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and, later, The Children’s Movement of Florida.
To succeed, Lawrence needed to learn and embody the foundations of good business and nonprofit management. Self-taught, he raised millions of dollars, built relationships with civic leaders, and advocated for the issues he held dear.
“This special book is the story of a good man who has lived an impressive, fascinating, full life dedicated to his family, his profession, his faith and his service to others, especially the youngest and most vulnerable among us. How he describes the passion, persistence and skills of civic engagement to accomplish these building blocks to success is worth the price of the book. To cement and broaden those achievements, Dave created a movement that has converted aspiration to reality and has, is, and will enrich the lives of thousands of the youngest Floridians. He has brought life to the truism of Frederick Douglass, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Jeb Bush, Florida’s 43rd governor from 1999 to 2007 and 2016 presidential candidate
“Reading David Lawrence’s autobiography, you will learn a lot – from disemboweling chickens on an upstate New York farm, to the evolution of Miami from Miami Vice to a culturally and economically international city, to the travails of contemporary journalism. Reading this book is like listening to an old friend telling engaging stories while encouraging you to join the conversation. Dave’s successful career in journalism is a story of the roller coaster of the American newspaper from the halcyon days of post-World War II to the dramatic changes and decline of today. For more than 40 years, Dave was a journalist, rising from co-editor of his high school newspaper to editor or publisher of several of America’s most distinguished newspapers. At each, he inspired the highest standards of journalism built upon a deep immersion into the communities these newspapers served. But the most lasting impression you’ll have will be of a highly principled man applying his talents and values in a transitioning America. Ultimately, he elects to transfer his lifelong fascination with journalism to civic advocacy for early childhood learning.” – Bob Graham, Florida’s 38th governor from 1979 to 1987, U.S. senator from Florida from 1987 to 2005, and presidential candidate in 2003.
About the Author:
David Lawrence Jr. retired in 1999 as publisher of The Miami Herald to work in the area of early childhood development and readiness. He chairs The Children’s Movement of Florida, aimed at making children the state’s top priority for investment and decision-making. He has served on the Governor’s Children and Youth Cabinet and twice chaired the Florida Partnership for School Readiness. In 2002 and 2008 he led successful campaigns for The Children’s Trust, a dedicated source of early intervention and prevention funding for children in Miami-Dade. He is the “founding chair.” In 2002-3 he chaired the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Protection, and in 2011 he chaired a similar panel for the Secretary of the Department of Children and Families. In 2002, he was a key figure in passing a statewide constitutional amendment to provide pre-K for all 4 year olds. He is the founding chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe. The David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Public School opened in 2006. An endowed chair in early childhood studies is established in his name at the University of Florida College of Education. In 2015 he was appointed by the Governor to the Board of Trustees of Florida A&M University.
For more information about Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative visit www.krcirc.org