Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Pre-K for PA Campaign

The grass roots movement for accessible, high-quality preschool for all Pennsylvania kids



(page 1 of 2)

When Tonja Claxton’s daughter started Kindergarten this past school year, she was well prepared. After attending a state-funded preK program for two years, school was nothing new.

“I’m thankful that my child was exposed to an amazing curriculum in pre-Kindergarten,” says the Philadelphia mom, who says she could not have afforded preschool without financial assistance. “As a low-income parent and single mother, I knew that early childhood education was important, and I noticed a difference between my child’s development with a supportive system and without.”

Because Claxton believes that every child, regardless of family income, should have that same advantage, she now advocates for early childhood education as a volunteer for Pre-K for PA.

Universal vision: High-quality pre-K for all

Pre-K for PA, a coalition backed and led by experts from 10 major statewide and regional educational organizations (see “Who’s Behind Pre-K for PA”), began in January as a way to use the 2014 election season to promote its mission of expanded access to high-quality preschool. The group will not endorse specific candidates; instead, it hopes to spread word of its vision through grass roots tactics. Its ultimate goal is to ensure that every 3- and 4-year-old in the state is able to enroll in a preK program of substance — one that entails a strong curriculum taught in a safe environment by highly trained teachers.

In Pennsylvania, 70 percent of preschool-aged kids currently do not have access to high-quality preschool, states Pre-K for PA field director Anne Gemmell. This is often because many families earn too much to qualify for state- or federally funded programs but too little to afford the expense on their own. Reducing that statistic, Gemmell notes, would give students a higher chance of future success.

Once kids reach elementary school age, “You’ve got increasing pressure on students to reach certain benchmarks, and there’s a lot of debate around the Common Core and increased standards, but there’s not enough substantive conversation about investing in those important early years,” Gemmell says.

Next page: how to get involved at the grass roots

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

No More Grocery Wars

Does taking the kids to the grocery story make you crazy? Find out how to survive the experience with your sanity intact.

Enjoy the Terrific Twos

Don't believe the hype about the terrible twos! Discover how to enjoy this age of inquisitiveness and growing independence.

Go Tech-Free at Summer Camp

Many camps restrict campers' use of smartphones and other electronic devices. How can you get your child ready to separate from technology?

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
How to Talk to Children about Disabilities

How to Talk to Children about Disabilities

Encourage inclusion and acceptance by teaching your child to understand differences

Comments

Game Review: Moms Confess

Game Review: Moms Confess

Gather some friends during your kid's sports practice or for an moms' night out and play this fun game that reveals your parenting successes and challenges

Comments

5 Tips to Help Kids Spot Fake News

5 Tips to Help Kids Spot Fake News

Teach your kids how to distinguish facts from opinions

Comments

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Coming to Philadephia

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Coming to Philadephia

Get all the details about the area's newest attraction and its grand opening!

Comments

Create Healthier Tech Habits for Kids

Create Healthier Tech Habits for Kids

Get your kids' tech use under control and teach them to to police it better themselves

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags

{/if}