This is a question to which Lowell Milken has devoted his time, ideas and resources, as co-founder and chairman of a leading global education company Knowledge Universe, as well as his philanthropic positions as chairman of and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, and founder and chairman of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. Knowledge Universe is the result of a long-standing commitment to building human capital through education. Inspired to provide learning environments that enrich students’ development and promote a love of learning so young people can move on to the next stage of learning, Lowell Milken is actively involved in Knowledge Universe’s education programs across the world as he oversees all of its education programs in the U.S. as chairman of the board of directors of Knowledge Universe Holdings Inc.
The international company houses a network of more than 3,700 locations worldwide, employing over 40,000 education professionals, operating early childhood education centers, international schools, colleges, today Knowledge Universe companies are the largest early childhood education providers in the U.S., U.K., Singapore and Malaysia. Providing world-class educational resources and infrastructure, with well-recognized brand names, Knowledge Universe provides effective education that prepares students across all ages, and dedicated education professionals with the knowledge, skills and values for a productive, satisfying life.
Providing educational resources to more than 300,000 students daily, Knowledge Universe and its brands are guided by a set of principles advocated by Lowell Milken to accomplish the following:
Principal 1: Early childhood education has a significant impact on a child’s success in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.
Over the past three decades, scientific research has made it clear that an infant's brain develops at such a rapid rate that this brief window in a child’s experience is crucial. The younger a child is, the greater his or her growth potential, and in turn the greater the need for expert and committed parental and educator input.
In short, it is one of the most precious opportunities any nation or people has—the nurturing of the very young—to allow the next generation of children to reach its greatest potential. In America today, this rare opportunity is squandered for all too many children. One out of every three five-year-olds coming to kindergarten is unprepared to learn. For these reasons, improving our system of early education and care to better deliver the kind of skills, experience and knowledge children need is of the utmost importance.
As the father of four children, Lowell’s years of research into his own children’s development further strengthened his resolve to provide greater opportunities for growth and learning to all children.
Principle 2: The 21st century economy needs an education system that will produce qualified and capable individuals ready for gainful employment.
If a well-educated, technologically advanced workforce is required to compete in the global economy, then strengthening the education system is the best means to generate the human resources for that workforce.
Outside of the home, early childhood education programs are the first step to help children develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in life. A study by Stanford University economist Victor Fuchs found that readiness to learn in kindergarten was the most important determinant for mathematical achievement in school. The qualities that are provided in preschool education, such as social confidence, emotional maturity, language richness and moral awareness are the key to unlocking this eagerness to learn.
When Lowell Milken co-founded Knowledge Universe in 1997, it was clear that education at the preschool level and at every level, needed to get better faster. In order to face these challenges, Lowell established an organization to prepare young people to harness the newest innovations in technology, compete with any nation for the most selective jobs and become the next generation of leaders.
Principle Three: The time for personal responsibility and proactive initiative is now.
Assuring that children are educated at higher levels is a complex task, one that has proven difficult for the American public school system. The need to improve conditions in the U.S. and throughout much of the world is too great to remain passive. As such, the best way to meet the needs of the young is to actively develop and implement programs, not to sit back and wait for someone or some other organization to do so.
At their dawn of their lives children cannot be burdened with these complex issues. It is up to individuals and communities to undertake this challenge with passionate resolve. This is why Lowell Milken translated his personal commitment to the healthy growth and development of young children into professional action.
Now, over a decade later, utilizing proven teaching methods, highly-research curricula, talented educators and sophisticated education software and advanced technology, Knowledge Universe serves the entire spectrum of learners from infants and toddlers to primary and secondary students to adult learners.
Early Childhood Education
Elementary and Secondary
June 11, 2017
Philanthropy News Digest