Jennifer Garner spoke in front of members of Congress to advocate for early childhood education in a passionate speech on Thursday.
The actress, who serves as a trustee and ambassador for Save the Children, testified on Capitol Hill before a House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing, where she called for more funding toward childhood education programs.
In her testimony, the actress recounted a home visit she made in California, in which an 11-month-old baby was so deprived of stimulation that he didn’t even look up at her when she entered the room and instead was glued to the TV from the floor. After encouraging the mother to play with him, the group coordinator she was with gave the little boy a ball and he instantly perked up and responded positively. Garner, a mother of three, seemed to get slightly emotional as she started speaking about how poverty and a lack of childhood stimulation affects children.
“A child who is not touched, who is not spoken to, who is not read to or sung to in the first five years of his or her life will not fully recover,” Garner, 44, said. “Neglect can be every bit as harmful as abuse. When many of these children enter kindergarten, they don’t know their letters and numbers, they don’t know how to sit in a circle or listen to a story, they don’t know how to hold a book. They may have never even seen a book.”
“It’s easy to escape responsibility for disgrace like that by blaming the parents,” she added. ” ‘Who doesn’t talk to a child? Who doesn’t sing to their child?’ I’ll tell you who — parents who have lived their whole lives with the stresses that come with food scarcity, with lack of adequate shelter, with drug addiction and abuse. Parents who were left on the floor when they were children, ignored by their parents who had to choose, as one out of three mothers in this country do, between providing food or a clean diaper for their children.”
“Poverty dulls the senses, it saps hope, it destroys the will,” she said.
Garner was joined by Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, professor of child development and education at Columbia University and Don Millican, spokesman for the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
“I’ve had the honor of working with Jennifer at Save the Children for the past nine years,” said Mark Shriver, President of Save the Children Action Network in a statement. “She is an incredible champion for children and works tirelessly to make sure low-income kids across the country have access to critical early education programs like Head Start and home visiting, as well as high-quality child care. She knows that it’s essential to our country’s future to invest in kids.”
On Tuesday, Garner’s estranged husband Ben Affleck revealed in a Facebook post that he had completed treatment for alcohol addiction. In his statement, he thanked Garner, saying: “I’m lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I’ve done the work I set out to do.”
Deadline shares the exciting news that Wakefield has been acquired and will be released at the end of May!
IFC Films has acquired Wakefield, the Robin Swicord-directed pic based on the E.L. Doctorow short story that stars Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner. The film, which bowed at Telluride in the fall, will hit theaters beginning May 19 in New York, with a VOD date set for May 26.
Cranston plays successful suburbanite commuter Howard Wakefield who takes a perverse detour from family life: He vanishes without a trace. Hidden in the attic of his carriage house garage, surviving by scavenging at night, Howard secretly observes the lives of his wife (Garner) and children and neighbors and slowly realizes that he has not in fact left his family, he has left himself. Jason O’Mara and Beverly D’Angelo co-star.
Julie Lynn, Bonnie Curtis, Wendy Federman and Carl Moellenberg are producers.
I have added captures from Jennifer’s newest film Nine Lives to our gallery. Jennifer plays Lara Brand opposite Kevin Spacey.
– Jennifer Garner Online > 2016 | Nine Lives > Captures | The Film
Last March Jennifer appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers and I have come across some stills from her appearance and added them to our gallery.
Being as things are quiet in the Jennifer world I decided to do some work on the gallery. I found some images from the Toronto Film Festival this year that I hadn’t added and thought you would enjoy them!
– Jennifer Garner Online > PHOTOSHOOTS > Outtakes > 2016
People shared these quotes by Ben Affleck about Jennifer and their children.
Ben Affleck may be a two-time Oscar winner, but the actor says his greatest accomplishments are his three children.
Affleck, 44, opened up about his career and personal life while participating in a Times Talk at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts on Monday night. When asked what the most defining moment of his life has been, the actor didn’t hesitate with his answer.
“In my career or otherwise, it is the birth of my children,” he said. “The entrance of my children into the world.”
Affleck also gave a sweet shout-out to his ex Jennifer Garner, calling her the “world’s greatest mom.”
“It’s a joy to hang out with them,” he added. “I think the meaning of life is to make good people.”
The actor was there promoting his new film Live By Night, which he wrote, directed and stars in. Affleck called the passion project a “love letter to the ’30s and ’40s gangster movies,” and described it as “the most formal presented movie I ever made.”
This weekend Jennifer was honored at the Baby2Baby Gala … I have added a bunch of images from the event to the gallery.
– Jennifer Garner Online > 2016 > November 12 | Baby2Baby Gala
– Jennifer Garner Online > 2016 > November 12 | Baby2Baby Gala – Inside
– Jennifer Garner Online > 2016 > November 12 | Baby2Baby Gala – Audience
– Jennifer Garner Online > 2016 > November 12 | Baby2Baby Gala – Ceremony
Jennifer shares how honored she was to be recognized with Access Hollywood.
At the fifth annual Baby2Baby Gala, Jennifer Garner talks to Access Hollywood and shares how she feels about being honored at the event.
Entertainment Weekly’s Cameron Mathieson spoke with Jennifer at the Baby2Baby Gala this weekend about her plans for Thanksgiving … her answer shouldn’t surprise you as we all know how much Jennifer enjoys being in the kitchen!
Jennifer Garner partied with pals at the annual Baby2Baby Gala presented by John Paul Mitchell Systems in Culver City, California on Saturday, where she was honored with the charity’s Giving Tree Award for her dedication to children in need around the world — before spending a quiet Sunday at church with her ex, Ben Affleck, and their three children.
Before she accepted the award on Saturday however, ET’s Cameron Mathieson caught up with Garner on the red carpet, where she dished on her Thanksgiving plans this year.
“I’m cooking!” the mother-of-three said. “I’m cooking — always, everything!”
Garner, who wore a deep navy blue gown embellished with fabric flowers to the charity fundraiser, is a passionate advocate for underprivileged children. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Save The Children — which, as she told ET, is how she got involved with Baby2Baby — so the award is a meaningful one.
“Everyone who tries to help kids, we’re all just different pieces of the puzzle,” the Miracles From Heaven star said. “But you can’t help kids without food in their bellies, you can’t help kids without clean bottoms, and you can’t help kids without some basic bare essentials, and that’s what Baby2Baby takes care of so beautifully.”
The award, given every year to a mother who uses her position in the public eye to advocate on behalf of low-income children, was presented by Garner’s friend and fellow actor, Matthew McConaughey.
“It means the world to me that he came all the way out here,” the 44-year-old actress said. “What a good pal.”
Garner was clearly thrilled to see her pal, as she sported a huge grin while chatting with McConaughey inside the shindig.
Variety did an overview of this weekend’s Baby2Baby Gala where Jennifer was recognized for her work helping children.
The fifth annual Baby2Baby gala was held at 3Labs in Culver City, California, where more than 20 restaurants provided celebrities and guests with fun and intricate food and drink options. Power couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard opened the gala with a humorous yet realistic monologue highlighting the importance of Baby2Baby’s mission and the dire need for diapers, wipes, and other basic necessities every child deserves.
“I think involving yourself in community organizations is really vital. I think everyone should be doing more than just one, so this for me is a great cause for Los Angeles,” actress Kate Hudson said of her continued involvement with Baby2Baby. Hudson, a past Giving Tree Award honoree, could not have been more complimentary about this year’s honoree Jennifer Garner.
“Jen does so much for this organization, it’s so great. It’s such a nice thing and she brings awareness to people getting involved,” Hudson said of Garner.
Poverty strikes very close to home for Garner whose mother, one of ten children, grew up in severe poverty in rural Ohio.
Founder Norah Weinstein expressed her gratitude by saying, “Jen Garner is such a no-brainer for this award. She does this work; it’s part of her life. She walks the walk everyday. She helped us secure more than five million diapers and five million wipes over the last two years.”
“Overall what this award means is all of these amazing people in Los Angeles are coming together to try to help kids and if we can help the next generation have a leg up we can change the face of California,” said Garner.
This year, Baby2Baby distributed more diapers than any organization in the greater Los Angeles area, and since its inception, Baby2Baby has distributed more than 27 million items to children and families in need across the country.