Area nonprofit to offer free screening of early childhood education documentary “No Small Matter”

VANDALIA — Our Father’s Family Keeper Ministries will host a free virtual screening of the film “No Small Matter on June 20.” It is the first feature documentary to explore what organizers call the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for good in America today: early childhood education.

Local families and community leaders are invited to watch the film and participate in a follow-up discussion. There is a flexible viewing schedule limited to the first 300 views which may occur up to three days before June 20 until one day after (June 17-21).

“No Small Matter’ lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of a child’s first 5 years of life, and reveals how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for the country, organizers said.

“We hope to positively change the trajectory of our families and community by taking action after watching this film,” said Bianca May, the co-founder and executive director of OFFKM.

OFFKM is collaborating with community leaders to spread the word about this issue. Reverend James Solarek, executive pastor of Edwardsburg Community Church and a foster parent, is one of them.

“We are excited to partner with OFFKM to promote ‘No Small Matter.’ As a pastor, foster parent, and part of our community, I cannot overemphasize the importance of early childhood education,” Solarek said. “We hope this documentary will continue to improve the families in our community and encourage all of us to take positive action.”

Other organizations, Cass County Great Start Collaborative and Tri-County Head Start, have recently shared the documentary with their constituents to spark action as well.

“The film ‘No Small Matter’ is put together very well. It shows the importance of positive early childhood experiences on brain development and what that looks like with research and outcomes,” said Anna Carter, director of the Cass County Great Start Collaborative. “This film shows actual families that are struggling with the work/home balance, with the cost and availability of quality child care and preschool. I have viewed this film many times and each time I learn more. We all need to work together as a community to support families and children. Together we can make a difference.”

Chanda Hillman, executive director for the Tri-County Head Start program can also attest to the impact of early childhood education on the community at large.

“Investing in early childhood education makes sense for local economies, studies show that for every $1 invested in a high-quality early childhood program, there is an economic return in that community of $7-$19,” Hillman said.

To watch a trailer of the film and reserve your spot for the virtual screening, please visit offkm-nosmallmatter.eventbrite.com or visit OFFKM’s Facebook page for more information.

“Please join us in both watching the film and participating in the discussion afterwards to see how we can all become part of the solution,” May said.

Our Father’s Family Keeper Ministries is a Vandalia-based nonprofit, which May and her husband, Curtis, formed in 2012. It offers a number of services including youth educational supports, providing furniture and household items for individuals transitioning from shelters into housing, and transportation for those in need of assistance.

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 119,597 cases, 6,700 deaths

Buchanan

Buchanan City Commission candidates partake in forum

Buchanan

Buchanan Planning Commission considers multi-million dollar development

Cass County

Cass County Animal Control to host Empty the Shelters event

Business

Swirlyz Frozen Yogurt closes for the season due to COVID-19 setbacks

Buchanan

Local orchard offering fresh products, cider for fall

Cass County

Committee formed to review Lewis Cass ISD name

Dowagiac

JMG Student of the Year starts second year at SMC

Dowagiac

Hale’s True Value Hardware donates paint, cleaning supplies to DUS

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County announces additional COVID-19 death

Buchanan

Buchanan welcomes new city manager

Brandywine Education

Performing arts organization creates scholarship fund

Dowagiac

Positive COVID-19 tests force cancellation of Moose Riders’ Cass County Cancer Service Ride

Berrien County

Veterinarian ticketed following discovery of dead animals on his property

Dowagiac

SMC to produce radio show featuring Dewey Lake monster

Business

Niles Apple Festival Harvest Market aims to showcase vendors, food trucks

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan sees 117,910 cases, 6,680 deaths

Berrien County

Niles man gets probation for criminal sexual conduct

Berrien County

Public Safety Warning issued following multiple vehicle break-ins in Berrien County

Dowagiac

DUS approves hire of new Sister Lakes assistant principal

News

Niles Charter Township board approves millages for ballot

Buchanan

Buchanan Art Center donates more than $1,500 to RAM

Dowagiac

DUS approves ICG site improvement plan

News

Niles pastor takes vocals to park