Who is really thinking about filling a child’s mind with the knowledge they need to be successful when they are between the ages of newborn and three?
As much as we would love to only pinch their cheeks, specialized infant and child specialist Daseta Gray urges parents to foster their child’s brain development from the moment they enter the world.
“Research shows that at birth your brain is actually 25 percent developed. By the time you are three years old, your brain is 85 percent of that of an adult,” Gray explained.
After losing her job as an education director three years ago, Gray turned to her vast amount of knowledge and experience to pursue owning her own business.
Sabree Education Service began as a response to research containing negative statistics in regards to brain development of minority children in comparison to white children.
“There is a lot of negative statistics about kids of color that indicates that at nine months they are actually cognitively behind their white counterparts and by the time they get to kindergarten they are 20 months behind. I thought that with all of this knowledge I should start a business because there is a need in the underserved community,” she said.
The road to presenting her business has not been easy. In fact, while she is armed with the facts many people within the community are not exactly listening.
“When I started three years ago, some people in the community would say to me, ‘we don’t do those classes in our neighborhood take that downtown and when you get famous bring it back,’” she reflected. “The idea that some things are for them and some things are for us is too prevalent in our community and I think that’s really one of the drawbacks.”
Despite her uphill battle, Gray continues to host mommy-and-me classes for pregnant moms and parents of children between the ages of infant to three.
She also writes a parent blog as it relates to fostering cognitive skills and hosts a talk show on an Internet radio station, Islan
“With the information I have, I know if you show parents what they can do at home it’ll help,” she explained. “Currently, they’re suspending three-year-old children from day care centers across America; mostly black boys. With these kinds of statistics, kids are already being criminalized before they get to kindergarten. These are some of the discussions we need to start having in our community.”
Gray is providing bi-weekly classes at PS 287 located on Navy Street between Nassau and Concord streets. She can be reached at daset