May 16, 2012 10:49:09 AM
There's little doubt pre-kindergarten classes have significant benefits to students, school districts and communities.
Numerous studies have shown high-quality pre-K programs can have a lasting effect on the life of a child. By introducing children when they are most malleable to a classroom setting, they more readily adapt and, as a result, end up better students. Successful students stand a much better chance of becoming successful employees rather than a burden to society.
Pre-K education was a platform plank for recently elected Lowndes County Superintendent Lynn Wright, and we applaud him for his efforts to make it a reality.
After months of deliberations and discussion, the Lowndes County School District's board of trustees last week finally passed a motion approving a limited pre-K program, with one pre-kindergarten class to be offered at each of the district's three elementary schools.
The move is overdue, but, since the classes will be federally funded, specific parameters must be met, including the children live in a single-parent household, have a low socio-economic status or have a low score on a test measuring vocabulary and verbal ability.
It's a start, but we'd like to see more. We'd also like to see other area school districts take this step -- the Columbus city schools have pre-K programs at Cook, Stokes-Beard and Sale. Efforts are underway to implement pre-K at Franklin and Fairview.
Pre-kindergarten classes offer students a seamless transition to kindergarten and beyond. This is a good first step by the county schools; we hope it will soon make pre-K available to all students.
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