Actress and TV star Jennifer Garner — who grew up in Charleston, spoke on Friday at Ashton Elementary School on behalf of Save the Children. Save the Children is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide impoverished children with quality education, as well as support them through wellness and nutrition programs.
Garner announced that the organization will initiate some of their outreach programs at Ashton Elementary, Beale Elementary and Point Pleasant Primary in Mason County and Geary Elementary, Spencer Elementary and Walton Elementary.
Save the Children volunteers and staff visit parents of young children to promote the importance of reading and educational games in a child’s early years. Home workers also give books, games, and other materials to less fortunate families and set up meetings for them with principals, teachers and other parents at their child’s school.
Garner hoped the program would help the children of the state reach their full potential.
“There is such a need here, and there is so much unmet potential right here in West Virginia,” she said. “The cycle of poverty in this state is going on for generations and generations and generations, and we hope we can provide a new energy to help the kids reach their true potential and avoid that.”
“The kids here are just as smart as any of the kids in the country,” she said.
Garner has worked with Save the Children since last year. She has called for President Barack Obama and Congress to provide $2 billion in additional funding for early childhood education programs. Garner has been to Capitol Hill to meet with other national leaders to discuss the matter.