Gant News: LTE: Clearfield Area United Way Believes in Early Learning
November 28, 2017

Dear Editor:

The Clearfield Area United Way (CAUW) believes in early-learning and school readiness.

CAUW member agencies are making differences in the lives of children daily.  Our Reading Ripples project has distributed over 5,000 books to area children.

Research continues to confirm that high-quality Pre-K is among the best and most cost-effective initiatives.

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 300,000 three- and four-year-olds, including 1,700 in Clearfield County. However, only a small fraction of those children are enrolled in publicly-funded Pre-K.

Many of those who are missing out are at-risk of academic failure. In fact, 542 children lacked access to publicly-funded, high-quality Pre-K last year.

Community philanthropic organizations have made efforts to promote high-quality Pre-K but cannot get the job done alone.

We need the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to bolster its efforts to fund Pre-K programs and to reach those children who are missing out.

A new report by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children and the non-partisan Pre-K for PA outlines a multi-year investment that could help reach nearly 71,000 additional three- and four-year-olds over a four-year span.

If Pennsylvania would follow through on the proposed investment strategy, it could make publicly-funded, quality Pre-K available to more than 40 percent by 2019, as compared to fewer than 20 percent who benefited in 2013.

We could reach all of our Commonwealth’s at-risk three- and four-year-olds, helping them succeed.

United Way and other organizations across Pennsylvania have been doing their part to make Pre-K a priority because we know it works.

Pre-K benefits our children, our communities and our entire Commonwealth.

We are requesting the Commonwealth to make Pre-K a budget priority this year and in the years ahead, so that our region’s children can reach their fullest potential.

Most sincerely,

Nancy M. Pinto
Clearfield Area United Way

Read the Letter to the Editor here.