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.