Trib Live: LTE: In Praise of Pre-k
November 15, 2017

Pre-K really does work.

Each school year, I look forward to seeing children just starting out, young minds ready to be developed. Teachers in our pre-K classrooms provide structure, tools, exploration and fun to set students on the path to success. Pre-K provides valuable social, behavioral and academic skills that help children succeed in academics and in life.

As someone who has volunteered in a kindergarten classroom, I can often tell which children have had the benefit of quality pre-K experiences. They are more comfortable in a school environment and interacting with others. They have command of numbers and pre-reading skills. They are actively engaged in learning.

Many studies point to the advantages of having a quality pre-K experience. Pre-K affords children the opportunity to have the fundamental skills to “hit the ground running” when they start school. The benefits last a lifetime and result in higher achievement overall.

Unfortunately, not all children have this opportunity. The article  “Not enough seats for Southwest Pa. preschoolers, advocates say” is a compelling case for expansion.

Current demand far outweighs capacity to serve preschoolers. This means that many children are being denied this tremendous opportunity. Investments must be made to increase accessibility to quality pre-K and provide enough resources for programs for all children.

This is not just an investment in the future; it is an investment in our children.

Point Breeze

The writer is a member of the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Directors.

Read the Letter to the Editor here.