Educators Push for Increased Pre-School

February 1, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Fresno County Educators say they want every child who lives in the Central Valley to have the opportunity to attend preschool without money or access getting in the way.There's no question preschool is no longer the option it once was. And kindergarten is not what it used to be.

"It's very competitive, it's very academic, from the moment that they come in there and if they are not ready socially, then they have a hard time even separating from mom if they've never had those skills," said Small World Preschool Director Lana Lopez.

Three and four-year-olds at Small World Preschool in Southeast Fresno, are on the fast-track to success, soaking in all the skills they'll need to know how to succeed in school.

Nidia Salas enrolled her son in preschool after seeing just how much it paid off for her daughter. "She learned to write her first and last name. She knows her ABC's she knew her numbers 1-30, she learned pretty much all her colors primary, secondary," said Salas.

To get even more children involved in early learning, Fresno County Educators are working on a master plan. The goal is to get 80% percent of Fresno County children into some kind of pre-kindergarten enrichment program within seven years.

Fresno County Superintendent Jim Yovino said, "We know that children that start behind, stay behind, so it's important that we reach kids early with great quality programs so that kids are on the same playing field when they enter kindergarten."

Karen Hill Scott is a child development expert who knows every benefit of giving kids a jump start to spring ahead later. She said, "One of the things about preschool, though it may not always directly relate to reading scores, it creates kids who are in general better achievers."

According to the Rand Study, those who attend preschool are better all around achievers not just in school, but in life.


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