Vail’s Elaine Kelton joins board of Bright by Three | VailDaily.com

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Vail’s Elaine Kelton joins board of Bright by Three

Elaine Kelton

VAIL — Longtime Vail resident and community leader Elaine Kelton has joined the board of directors of Bright by Three (formerly Colorado Bright Beginnings). As a member of the Bright by Three board, Kelton hopes to expand the agency's presence in Eagle County and other mountain communities, while supporting the nonprofit's adoption of digital technology for program distribution.

Bright by Three serves 20,000 parents and caregivers of children ages 0 to 3 each year across Colorado in a three-year program designed to support healthy cognitive, social and emotional development. The organization was founded in 1995 by former Proctor & Gamble Chairman Brad Butler and former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer.

"We are thrilled that Elaine has joined the board," said Jean McSpadden, Bright by Three's CEO. "Her track record reflects an unmatched commitment to strengthening Colorado communities, and her energy, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit will be critical as BB3 continues to grow and evolve."

Since its inception, Bright by Three has delivered — in collaboration with 700-plus partner agencies — a research-based program of parenting information, learning games, books and other resources that support healthy development. In 2013, Bright by Three served 427 parents and caregivers in Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Lake counties and nearly 20,000 state caregivers total.

TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES

But the colorful bags stuffed with valuable parenting information are no longer the only way for Colorado caregivers to access the Bright by Three program. Indeed, parents can now text the word "BRIGHT" to 444999 to sign up for weekly educational messages that are targeted to the age of their child. The Bright By Text program is one of a series of technological innovations for the organization that are designed to increase its reach and impact.

"With simple tools and tips provided through easy-to-use and engaging program materials, as well as text messages and emails, Bright by Three teaches parents the importance of talking, reading and playing with their child every day," Kelton said. "The strategies and learning games are simple, but the positive effects are powerful."

In Kelton's various leadership roles with El Pomar Foundation, Vail Valley Foundation and other groups, she has been closely involved in initiatives related to parenting education, early literacy and quality child care. Yet even with her depth of knowledge and experience in the early childhood realm, Kelton still marvels at the importance of the first three years of life.

"Eighty-five percent of brain growth occurs in the first three years, and responsive relationships with adults are the foundation of healthy brain development," Kelton said. "So what happens in the first three years of life impacts the rest of a child's life — for better or worse. I'm excited to be a part of Bright by Three precisely because we are empowering parents to be the first and most influential teacher in their child's life, and I want to make sure every family in the Vail Valley has access to these incredible resources."

Learn more at http://www.bb3.org.