issues. However, given the fact that such an objective does not exist within Healthy People 2020, the committee believes that the objective, reducing the number of days the Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeds 100, can serve as a proxy for the committee’s belief in the importance of addressing physical environmental concerns.
According to the Healthy People 2020 website,4 “There is increasing recognition in policy, research, and clinical practice communities that early and middle childhood provide the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional foundation for lifelong health, learning, and well-being.” Zuckerman and Halfon (2003) found that interventions that “focus on school readiness result in better school achievement, and only return the investment to the health care system in reduced disability 60 years later.” Anderson and colleagues (2003) found that psychological and physical morbidity in young adulthood was reduced when children, particularly poor children, have school readiness. The report, Getting Ready: National School Readiness Indicators Initiative: A 17-State Partnership (Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, 2005) found
Children’s physical development (e.g., motor skills and coordination) are important to their academic achievement;
Emotional health and social competence help children learn;
“Language and literacy skills enable children to develop cognitive skills and knowledge”;
Cognitive development is important to learning, solving problems, and asking questions; and
“Children’s school success depends not only on academic skills, but also on learning styles, habits, and attitudes with which they approach learning.”
Forty-six percent of U.S. adolescents 15–19 years old have had sex at least once (Abma et al., 2004). About 10 percent of all births in the United States are to adolescent females (Martin et al, 2005). Hamilton and col-
See http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx? topicid=10 (accessed January 9, 2011).