Since 2012, Widmeyer has provided the First Five Years Fund (FFYF), the nation’s premier organization focused on increasing Federal investments in early childhood education, with strategic messaging, media relations and coalition building support. To catalyze increasing national support for early ed investments, Widmeyer created a national early childhood education campaign in conjunction with the White House.
On Dec. 10, 2014, President Obama unveiled the “Invest in US” campaign, a public challenge created in partnership with FFYF and private philanthropic leaders, and announced a “collective investment” of more than $1 billion for early education programs. More than 90 media clips were dedicated to coverage of FFYF and the Invest in US campaign launch, with coverage from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Huffington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today and NBC Nightly News.
Since the launch of the ongoing Invest in Us campaign, Widmeyer has pushed unique voices from policymakers, business leaders, celebrities and others to make early childhood education a mainstream issue. Widmeyer continues to position FFYF and Executive Director Kris Perry as national leaders in early education advocacy, particularly during ongoing iterations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization and the now-extended Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.
Photo credit: President Barack Obama hosts the White House Summit on Early Education in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, Dec. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)