Ready to Learn

Chambers of commerce are uniquely poised to work with key education stakeholders and community service providers to ensure that young children receive the quality education and wellness care they need to be healthy and ready to learn by the time they reach kindergarten. By focusing on a community’s youngest residents, a chamber can not only ensure children are set on a positive trajectory to succeed in school and career, but also instill effective wellness habits that will shape their future health—and as an added bonus, help develop a talented and productive workforce capable of competing in the 21st century global market. According to a Duke University study, over a lifetime, childhood obesity costs $19,000 per child. Reducing childhood obesity and improving long-term well-being amounts to substantial health and economic benefits. Download the ETDD's Frameworks Toolkit for more talking points on Ready to Learn initiatives: Championing Health and Wellness - Frameworks for Chambers of Commerce.

Chambers Leading Ready to Learn Initiatives

See all examples of Health & Wellness Initiatives or Education Initiatives in ACCE's Samples Library, or view highlighted resources listed below. See even more more chambers engaging in Ready to Learn programs.


ACCE’s Education & Talent Development Division hosted the following presentations:
  • Championing Health and Wellness: Three Approaches for Chambers webinar (September 2016) discusses how strategic investments in health and wellness can improve economic outcomes, workforce readiness, and quality of life for residents in your community. This webinar held on September 19, 2016 featured a discussion about how a chamber can utilize three key strategies (see handout) to build sustainable health and wellness initiatives that boost regional economic competitiveness. Learn about sample messaging that engages business leaders and community stakeholders and also about chamber-led best practices that improve children’s health, workplace wellness and community health. Speakers: Sarah Melby - Director of Information & Research, and Rich Hadley - Education & Talent Development Division Consultant
  • Boost Wellness and Transform Talent webinar (March 2016) discusses how a health and wellness agenda advances a community’s education and economic development agenda, making a community more economically competitive. It also discusses how chambers of commerce are implementing three civic approaches, including a Ready to Learn approach, to elevate a balanced health and wellness agenda while improving their 21st century talent pipeline. Handout available here.
  • Healthy Employees, Healthy Communities, Healthy Economy webinar (November 2014) presents examples of Chamber leaders are making the case for childhood wellness, including the long-term impact of childhood obesity, within their local business communities in order to yield the greatest return on investment for our future economy.
  • Healthy Workforce, Healthy Economy: Investing in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Obesity Prevention ACCE Convention workshop (August 2014) featured the Bryan Stephens, CEO of the Hampton Roads (VA) Chamber of Commerce’s who presented The Business of Early Education, showcasing the Chamber’s twofold investment in business vitality and early childhood health through its Early Education Small Business Program.

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Last Updated: 8/1/2018

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