08/31/2008 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin
Quality experiences are the goal of First 5 California’s investment of nearly one billion dollars into affordable, quality preschools for all.
First 5 Executive Director Kris Perry explains, “A series of studies over a period of 40 years shows that children who participate in high quality preschool programs are less likely to be in the court system, are less likely to require social services, are more likely to graduate from high school and college, and are more likely to make higher earnings.”
Experts say it’s the basic lessons learned in preschool that set the stage for success in school, and in life.
How Preschool Prepares Children
A preschool teacher for 32 years, Lise Witthaus first opened the Folsom Montessori School in 1980. As she notes proudly, she now teaches children of former students.
“The most important thing a child learns in preschool is how to be part of a school community,” says Witthaus. “They learn how to be in a group, and how to participate and take cues from their peers.” And key, she says, they learn how to take direction that’s given to the class, not just to the individual child. According to educators, those skills must be learned in order to succeed in elementary school.
Additionally, the importance of academic basics such as reading, math and penmanship cannot be ignored. As First 5’s Perry points out, “School has gotten increasingly difficult.” Perry suggests that the curriculum most parents were taught when they were in first grade, is what today’s kindergartners are learning. “So the more parents can help their child prepare ahead of time, the better they will do the whole time they are in school.” ...
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