Pop star Shakira said early childhood development was key to improving education for US Hispanics, as she began work on a new commission created by US President Barack Obama.
“There is no better investment than investment in our kids, especially when they are very little,” Shakira said at the White House on Thursday.
“I can share a little bit of what I learned in the past 15 years working with Latino kids in Colombia and Latin America,” the Grammy award-winning Colombian diva said.
“I am convinced that early childhood development strategies, promoting those strategies and initiatives, is the way to ensure that our kids, our Latino kids especially, will stick to their secondary education.”
Shakira was among four people named to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, a committee created by Obama last year that aims to expand access to high quality education for Hispanics.
Last year, the singer of “Whenever, Wherever” and “Hips Don’t Lie” joined the World Bank to set up a program to push education and development programs for children in Latin America.
The singer, songwriter and producer also established the “Barefoot Foundation,” which has set up schools and education projects in Colombia, South Africa and Haiti.
The Hispanic community, a growing voting demographic which usually leans Democratic, will play a key role in Obama’s campaign to win a second term next year, especially in crucial swing states like Florida and Colorado.