It is that time of year again. Summer days are dwindling and the new school year is just around the corner. As a teacher, I love this time of year. I love to think about my students that moved on from Pre-Kindergarten last year getting ready for Kindergarten. My heart swells with hope as I imagine them stepping into their big classroom on that first day. They are prepared, excited and have a great love of learning. Most importantly, they have Jesus in their hearts. They will be amazing. I also love to think about the new students that will be coming into our church community and our classroom soon. A fresh bunch of bright faces and unending potential will soon be in our care and we have a huge responsibility to them and their families.
In recent years, researchers have found that the human brain develops the vast majority of neurons and receptors between birth to age 5. The intake of new information and experiences are crucial to creating neural pathways. This information puts preschool to a new level. Gone are the days of just cutting, coloring and pasting. Children need hands on authentic learning experiences everyday that challenge them to creatively problem solve and express their ideas. This can be accomplished by creating a safe and loving classroom that encourages each child to find confidence to express thoughts and ideas through intentional activities and play. Our students are smarter than we think at this young age.
Researchers have also found that high quality early educational programs produce students that are less likely to repeat a grade, have less behavior problems, have higher high school graduation rates and commit fewer crimes. According to Steve Barnett (director of the National Institute for Early Education Research), a lack of educational early learning programs economically and socially impacts our country.
“We pay for failing to invest in our kids in terms of the high cost of school failure — one in 10 middle-income kids failed a grade and will repeat, and one in 10 doesn’t complete high school — the high costs of prisons and the criminal justice system, and the high cost of poor productivity in the workforce,” he says. “There’s even some evidence that we pay for it in the high cost of health, since health problems are often rooted in early childhood experiences.”
Placing preschool education as a priority is important for the child, their families and our community. Our church preschool is striving to help this cause. Our mission is to provide high-quality academic preschool programming at one of the lowest tuition rates in the area. We have been successful in this endeavor, but can always do more. If you would like to help us achieve our goals we could always use help. First and foremost, please pray for our little school and its families that it serves as we embark in our new school year. Secondly, we could always use donations to help keep our classroom stocked with supplies. Please see the donation box and list available outside the door of the preschool classrooms. Thirdly, we would like to create a scholarship fund for families in need that have a difficult time making the tuition payments each month. If you feel inclined to donate towards our scholarship fund, please see Stacy Robinson. Thank you for smiling down on our little school as we prepare for a great new school year!