When it comes to raising well-rounded, dream-seeking children, early education is key.
That’s the message that Deloris Jordan hopes to share with the Fort Wayne community during an event hosted by United Way’s Women United on Tuesday.
Jordan, the mother of basketball legend Michael Jordan, will speak during an event called “Salt in His Shoes: An evening with Deloris Jordan” at the Public Safety Academy.
Jordan said she plans to spend most of her presentation talking about the importance of early childhood education and the important role that mothers play in education.
“I think it’s very important to establish a good early childhood with parents and educators. It’s critical to a child’s growth,” Jordan said in a telephone interview just before Labor Day.
Jordan is the author of several children’s books including “Salt in His Shoes” and “Dream Big.”
The books focus on the importance of a strong education and pursuing dreams.
“‘Dream Big’ is really about encouraging readers to dream and parents to encourage their children to dream,” Jordan said.
Jordan also hopes her talk will help the Fort Wayne community better understand the important role that groups like United Way play in supporting children.
“I’d hope that by hearing my presentation and learning about the support that they provide, the community will embrace United Way,” she said.
Jeanne Zehr, United Way’s director of community impact, said she heard Jordan speak at East Allen County Schools a few years ago and was impressed with her message.
“She had such a positive, powerful and inspirational message about early childhood and literacy,” Zehr said. “ … She’s a huge advocate for families and schools working together and communities and families working together.”
Jordan is the founder and president of the James R. Jordan Foundation, an organization named after her late husband who was shot to death in 1993 when two men killed him while he was sleeping in his car. The two men then stole the vehicle.
The foundation works to strengthen families, motivate youth and ensure high-quality educational opportunities for students, according to the foundation website.
Zehr said she hopes to fill every seat at the Public Safety Academy for Jordan’s speech. The Safety Academy will seat 366 people.
“It’s a free event for our community,” she said.
“And it’s great to have someone here for Women United who really promotes family.”