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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Dedication Sometimes seeing a new generation can spark someone’s vision to invest in a bold and hopeful idea. Observing the exemplary early childhood education program attended by his grandchildren, retired businessperson Robert Kirkland became inspired to help less fortunate children in his home community. Kirkland believed that at-​r isk chil- dren would be better equipped for school success, and become better citizens in the future, if they had opportunities to participate in high-​ quality early education environments similar to the one experienced by his grandchildren. The program Kirkland’s grandchildren attended used state and national standards for early learning. It was based on the philosophy that children learn best when they are in nurturing environments that are responsive to their academic- and character-development needs. Kirkland returned to his rural hometown and enlisted the help of his Rotary colleagues and several early childhood professionals. As an entrepreneurial businessperson with forty years’ experience in devel- oping successful businesses from the ground up, Kirkland applied his expertise to improving the quality of early childhood environments and school preparation experiences of the children in his community. Kirkland’s vision and generosity resulted in the creation of the nonprofit Promethean Foundation. In December 2004 the foundation began providing funds for at-​r isk children birth to age five to attend high-​quality child care environments. Our community is forever in- debted to the Kirkland family and the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation for its generosity. To you we dedicate this book. Mr. Robert E. Kirkland passed away on April 11, 2015. He was the original motivation behind the development of Starting with Character. He believed the teaching of good character should be intentional and by design. His spirit and character live on through the lives of those he touched. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL