Sterling Speirn, the president and chief executive officer of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, spoke about the importance of targeting philanthropic and policy efforts toward America’s next generation at a recent convening of the Aspen Institute’s Foundation Presidents’ Roundtable Series. The Kellogg Foundation’s long tradition of supporting the promise and importance of children dates back to 1931, when President Hoover invited Mr. Kellogg to help stage the first White House Conference on Children.
Today, Speirn fears, the wellbeing of American children is no longer advancing. “Those kids were on a trajectory 30 years ago when high school graduation rates stagnated, wages stagnated, and we have not been making progress. So all of our kids, our middle class kids, aren’t doing well compared to global standards,” he said. “How we’ll invest in children in an era of tight budgets is a challenge that we face.”