Chester County leaders highlight the need for high-quality pre-k before the first day of kindergarten.

On Thursday morning, August 21Pre-K for PA joined Mayor Carolyn Comitta, Chester County leaders, and educators at the West Chester Area Day Care Center in West Chester, a STAR 3 pre-k program, to highlight the importance of high-quality pre-k in preparing children for kindergarten and beyond.

As parents and educators prepare for the first day of kindergarten, Pre-K for PA is holding a series of “Back to School” events at preschools across Pennsylvania to underscore the need for every 3- and 4-year-old in the commonwealth to be ready for kindergarten through access to high-quality pre-k.

Mayor Comitta was greeted by the preschool’s director, Betsy Billie before she read “The Kissing Hand” while the children were engaged, excited, and focused. We heard kids’ detailed observations of the book and insightful connections to their own lives. Because of their top-quality preschool, these children will be ready for kindergarten.

As Chester from Audrey Penn’s “The Kissing Hand” shows us, all families and young children have anxiety — mixed with excitement — on the first day of kindergarten. Pre-K for PA is working to make sure all children are prepared to start school. This way, children and families can step through their elementary school years learning and thriving academically. We will all benefit in the long run.

Joining us were Robert Patridge, Communications Director of West Chester Area School District, and Alain Oliver and Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo, leaders of the Maternal and Child Health Consortium of Chester County. These leaders have been active partners with Pre-K for PA so we can ensure that every child in Chester county and in Pennsylvania can be ready to succeed on the first day of kindergarten.

Pre-K for PA is an issue campaign supported by individuals and organizations across Pennsylvania who believe that investing in our children is the right choice and an urgent necessity.  Our vision is that every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania will have access to high-quality pre-k. We will not endorse nor oppose candidates, but rather we will advocate on behalf of this vision for Pennsylvania’s children, schools and communities.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChester County leaders at West Chester Area Day Care Center: Mayor Carolyn Comitta (West Chster) with Alain Oliver and Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo (Maternal and Child Health Consortium of Chester County).>OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPre-k children and educators stand with Mayor Carolyn Comitta, Alain Oliver, Nelly Jimenez-Arevelo, as well as Betsy Billie (Director, West Chester Area Day Care Center), Rob Partridge (West Chester Area School District), and Suzann Morris (Pre-K for PA/ Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMayor Comitta reads Audrey Penn’s “The Kissing Hand,” a story to prepare children for their first day of school.