Centre Daily Times: In early learning, attention to detail is essential to success
August 23, 2017
As a superintendent, when it comes to early learning, I can’t stress enough the importance of the little things. So, a great deal of coordination goes into aligning pre-K curriculum with kindergarten expectations in math, reading and vocabulary — even installing a universal alphabet across classrooms, so kids will always have a bird as their picture clue for the letter “B.”
Assuring quality of pre-K and promoting access, within the district and communitywide, is a top priority at Tyrone Area. I know I have driven the business department crazy trying to squeeze every possible slot for its free pre-K from available funding sources Pre-K Counts, Title I, Keystones to Opportunities and the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program (plus district child care funded through state CCIS and parent tuition, and funding for the district’s role as Early Intervention provider for preschool-aged children.) Our district created a brochure listing quality pre-K programs, and district personnel even shows up at community events — a Labor Day picnic, an Irish heritage festival — to inform parents about quality pre-K opportunities.
The district puts forth the effort because the advantages of quality pre-K are evident.
The same assessments that show academic readiness for kindergarten also show that children from quality pre-K are equipped with curiosity, initiative, persistence, and task analysis. It’s about kids wanting to ask questions, eager to learn, eager to pick up books. We are eager to watch each of them as we begin a new school year.
Cathy Harlow is the Tyrone Area School District superintendent.