WASHINGTON, April 12 -

Mr. Speaker, four-year-old Jaylen in Houston, Texas wants to be a teacher when he grows up. It isn't every day that you meet a youngster with aspirations as big as Jaylen's. It takes a special role model, advocate, and teacher to spark the dreams in kids as young as him. The best news for these kids is that the world is their oyster; they have a world of opportunities awaiting them. Teaching our kids about the opportunities that are available is exactly what Collaborative for Children works to do each day. In Houston, Collaborative for Children is an admirable organization that promotes and builds strong educational foundations in the lives of kids for a brighter future.

For over 25 years, Collaborative for Children has partnered with families, teachers, care providers, and community-based groups to provide Houston area youth with the best possible educational foundation. Collaborative for Children's commitment to education for kids, ages zero through six, ranges from helping parents find good child care, providing parental guidance, and providing parents and teachers with necessary educational resources, all the way to strengthening early childhood education systems through policy changes. Every day, the non-profit organization does everything it can for the role models in the lives of the kids so that they can continue leading them toward their dreams.

The impressive Collaborative for Children services are possible because of its strong team. The organization is run by a board of directors made up of diverse citizens from all different fields in the community. Dedicated volunteers help guide the organization and shape our children's lives every day, with the support of generous local businesses that help fund it. It takes quite a band of leaders to run an organization that goes ``above and beyond'' for our kids on a daily basis.

Today, I would like to recognize Collaborative for Children for their dedication to improving the quality of education in the lives of our children, America's future. For some kids, you have given them a chance that they may not have had without your help. Thank you for your valuable contributions to our community, our state and our nation. Coming from a family with several teachers--and having taught school myself long ago--I understand what an impact a good education and role model can have on a child. It truly makes a world of a difference. Thank you for being that difference.

And that's just the way it is.