Universal Preschool

What did you learn in Kindergarten? 

If you’re like me, that was a long time ago.  There are moments frozen in my memory, but what’d I learn?  I don’t remember.  Of course back then, the idea of a full day of kindergarten was unheard of.

The state of Indiana – the state in which I teach — is working on requiring full day Kindergarten, and the state of Michigan – where I reside — requires all students to attend Kindergarten.  With such laws, do they require preschool?  Of course not.  Nevertheless, I’m torn about preschool. 

When I was growing up, preschool was called play school.  We probably worked on colors, and if Mom’s reading this, she can certainly correct me on what we did and didn’t do.  I vaguely remember taking little trips to the post office to see how things worked and to the fire department to check out the trucks, and there was always reading going on in our house.  But it seems to me that preschool’s a necessary element to a child’s readiness for Kindergarten these days, and Emily Guevera of the Beaumont Enterprise helps explain why that’s the case. 

Seems to me that if we’re going to require students to attend Kindergarten, and if we’re going to expect children to be able to sit through a full day of school who’ve never had a schooling experience, that these states need to invest in stronger preschool programs.  But I’m not really just talking to the states here.  Senator McCain, what’s your plan?  Senator Obama, what’s yours?  Governor Huckabee, how will you support preschool programs nationally?  Senator Clinton’s got the Head Start plan, but is she also prepared to support moms and dads who need childcare/workplace assistance in assuring their children can attend preschool?  In 2003, 1/3 of at risk children in the state of Michigan were not receiving the services they needed.  With all the talk of universal health care, perhaps we should consider universal preschool too. 

   

    

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2 Responses to “Universal Preschool”

  1. kathleen61 Says:

    Thanks for your feedback on my story Thursday night. I took your suggestions and re-wrote my story. Please scan it, especially the revised ending, and, if you are so inclined follow the suggestions and/or forward the link to your friend (Ed Ronco?) at the SBT. Thank you, Mike.

    http://ifweonlyconnect.wordpress.com/what-happened-to-my-vote/

    Kathleen

  2. Toni Coffee Says:

    You are exactly right Mike back in your day Play Schools were simply that. Moms with like aged children getting together to socialize said youngsters and give them opportunities to visit new places ( fire stations, hospitals, etc.) before starting “real school”. Of course, depending on the mother of the week you did arts and crafts, learning of basic letters and numbers, music , etc. At that time, we mothers of the neighborhood who were involved felt ourselves to be very progressive in giving our pre-K children such an opportunity. But as I said it was basically to get you ready to be working and playing in a group.

    Mom

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