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

The Cost of Kids' Classes

What's the average cost of karate, music, dance or art classes in the greater Philadelphia area? Find out here!

How Do We Elect a President?

A quick, visual guide to the presidential election process, with some fascinating facts about the origins of the donkey and elephant party mascots

Summer Travel Tips & Tricks

Make your family vacation easier with these handy tips for kids of all ages!

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Book Review: Passing the Bone: America's Next Pup of the United States

Book Review: Passing the Bone: America's Next Pup of the United States

This adorable children's book explains the transition from one POTUS to another but with a twist — here POTUS refers to the first Pup of the United States.

Comments

More Fun Facts About the Presidents

More Fun Facts About the Presidents

Get the facts about some of the earliest presidential elections in U.S. history.

Comments

An Overview of PoliticalFest in Philly

An Overview of PoliticalFest in Philly

Kid blogger Sarah Hullihen provides an overview of what you can see at PoliticalFest.

Comments

Fun Facts About a Few Presidents

Fun Facts About a Few Presidents

Learn some fascinating trivia about three past presidents of the United States from kid blogger Sarah Hullihen.

Comments

KidSpeak: The 2016 Presidential Election, Part 3

KidSpeak: The 2016 Presidential Election, Part 3

We asked local kids, ages 5-10, what they would do if they were president. Check out their answers!

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags

{/if}