The kids who need preschool the most

This article in the San Jose Mercury News reports that only 15% of preschool-age children living in poverty are in high-quality programs.  This is where I want to tear my hair out and rant that we should more like the French and the Italians, and have universal preschool.  This is where I want to run around and shove yell, “Wake up, people!  We are missing an incredible opportunity to reduce crime and poverty and illiteracy!”

I used to teach kindergarten in high-poverty areas.  Every day I went home feeling like a failure, because it was so hard to give my students everything they needed — but had not received — in their first five years of life.  I needed to go backward and get them through preschool, but then to have enough time to get them through kindergarten and ready for first grade was almost impossible.  Now that I teach preschool, I can take a child who has missed much of what he needed in his first four years of life, and take him through a year of rich preschool experiences, and yes, get him completely ready for kindergarten.  It is amazing the difference a year makes.

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2 thoughts on “The kids who need preschool the most

  1. It is amazing. Our community has woken up to this fact, and several businesses are supporting this, but children are still not being reached. And sometimes when they are, the family situation prevents it from being successful. Thankfully I’ve seen a lot of success this past year. 3 cheers for families who care!

  2. The more experience I have in kindergarten classrooms, the more I wish that pre- school was a requirement. I believe that it not only helps with skills children need in kindergarten but it also prepares them to be away from home. One of my experiences I had was trying to get a child to write their name on the first day of school. Instead of trying she just kept insisting that she couldn’t, she would not even pick up her pencil to try. Come to find out she had stayed at home and never been in a school setting. I agree that pre-school helps prepare children for school. One idea I am excited about is the government starting to include 4- year old classes in high poverty areas. I think this will benefit children greatly.

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