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

Holiday Wish Lists: Teens vs. Adults

Find out which gifts teens and adults want most this holiday season!

Meet Our CoverKid: Londyn G.

December's CoverKid is no stranger to photo shoots. Here's what she's looking forward to for the holidays.

Holiday Activities 2016

A day-by-day roundup of holiday events in the Delaware Valley.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Healthy Meal Hacks for Busy Families

Healthy Meal Hacks for Busy Families

You don't have to default to fast food when you're in a hurry! Here's how to make quick, healthy meals instead using local markets.

Comments

Throw a Hanukkah Party

Throw a Hanukkah Party

Get in the holiday spirit with a Hanukkah celebration for all ages.

Comments

Managing Mealtime Mania

Managing Mealtime Mania

Preserve family mealtimes and keep chaos to a minimum

Comments

Enjoy the Holiday Season While Taking Care of Yourself

Enjoy the Holiday Season While Taking Care of Yourself

Healthy habits to get you through the holiday season

Comments

Thanksgiving Traditions and Their Origins

Thanksgiving Traditions and Their Origins

Ever wondered why Thanksgiving falls on the 4th Thursday of November or why we watch football on the holiday? Learn about the origins of these Thanksgiving traditions and more.

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags

{/if}