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Dave Mentz: New Leadership for Best Starts for Kids

Dave Mentz, University Unitarian Church, talks about the new leadership he has taken on during the Best Starts for Kids Campaign.

Dave Mentz and Pam Smith Mentz (University Unitarian Church) had been long-time supporters of the Parent-Child Home Program at United Way that supports low-income parents during the crucial early years of their children’s development, helping the kids catch up to their peers for when they start school.

This early childhood support has far-lasting results.  “84% of kids who complete the Parent-Child Home Program graduate from high school – compared to just 54% of their socioeconomic peers,” according to the United Way website.

When Dave and Pam heard about the Sound Alliance campaign for Best Starts for Kids through their church newsletter they were drawn to the opportunity to expand these types of early childhood programs and make a big long-term impact for the King County community.

“I was very impressed with the mission and approach of the Sound Alliance - addressing issues at their root causes, not just applying temporary bandages, and intervening at a stage that can be impactful,” says Dave.

Dave got trained by Sound Alliance leaders and has conducted two 30-minute briefings for others at his church.  One happy and unexpected result is that some of the people who attended his trainings have turned around and “briefed” their own community, spreading the word through their networks.

Dave reports his experience as a Best Starts for Kids leader has been a good one, and he even signed up to take the Sound Alliance Leadership Institute, deepening his involvement.

He takes a broad view of his leadership: “All of us have a huge stake in how kids turn out to be.”

Thank you to Dave, Pam and all of the Sound Alliance leaders who will help pass the Best Starts for Kids Levy in November, one conversation at a time!