Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pre K Now

HIPPY Parent and Child, Houston ISD

There's a national movement underway to provide universal pre-Kindergarten, or at least full day PreK to elegible children. I fully endorse and support this movement. I also sometimes feel like the role of parents is getting a little lost in this effort. I've had the opportunity to review a lot of research regarding school readiness and it often seems like children are viewed as empty vessels that need to be filled as young as possible by professional educators. NO! Children enter school the very first day with experiences and skills thanks to their parents. Those of us in the field of parent involvement and education know that the research on the value and importance of getting parents involved early and keeping them involved is indisputable. It just makes sense that if parents work with their children at home (reading, playing, singing and conversing) and understand their role as first teacher...their children will do better in school. We KNOW that, but often don't know how to turn that into a reality with parents who are unsure about how to teach their child. I believe that what is BEST for young children is a high quality preschool with an excellent teacher who is well trained and compensated, AND with their parents' consistent and focused support at home. Schools and families are the "village" that raises today's children. If we don't invest in high quality, research based parent involvement for school readiness, we are missing out on an often untapped resource: parents.

For more information on the PreK now movement: http://www.preknow.org/

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through my Google News Alert. You are right on target. The issue is getting parents to start early, but also getting them to keep parenting until the child is an adult.

The family is a critical component to any child’s life. When it comes to education, no greater statistic stands truer today than the achievement gap between students whose parents are involved in their education process and those who do not have that support. Personal responsibility, safety and education are key elements to bringing up the next generation.

After 10 years of experience leading a volunteer program in my children’s elementary and middle schools, Schools And Families Engaged (the S.A.F.E. TEAM on Campus) was launched in 2008 to meet the needs of schools and families. Many of the school's families do not know where to begin in school. Many parents today never had an example of their parents supporting the school let alone they may not have enjoyed their personal schooling experience. Why would they have a desire to serve? You only know what you have experienced.

Make time to check out our site www.thesafeteam.com . On the About SAFE page, click on the 40 Developmental Assets link. This will tie in all the benefits of families and communities supporting their students both in school and out of school.