Aristotle once theorized that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is how the notion of synergy was created; it also forms the basis of collective impact and the priorities of The Commit! Partnership: by working together, we are able to achieve greater outcomes than we would as individuals in isolation. Funders are an active part of this formula.

This past year, 100 foundations and funders supported 40 cross-sector partners as they engaged over 2,800 parents and 4,500 children in brain building activities. This synergy around the importance of and investment in early childhood education pays dividends today and down the road: children who start school kindergarten-ready, a key pillar on the cradle-to-career continuum, are much more likely to graduate from high school and earn $10,000 more annually than their peers who do not.

These successes and potential for continued impact motivate us to expand the ecosystem by growing our impact, strengthening and innovating current partnerships, and engaging new partners in innovative ways all in an effort to optimize impact on the life trajectories for more and more Dallas County kids.

More and more partners and funders from all sectors are recognizing the sound investment of time and money in brain building activities and equipping parents as their child’s first teacher: in its second year, the Early Childhood Family Engagement Action Network will empower 65 partners to engage 4,500 families and 7,200 children in brain building activities.

This synergy, this collective impact—powered by community partners giving both time and money—is ultimately leading to a sea change in thinking around early childhood education and resultant life-changing benefits to the children of Dallas County who need us most.