Here is the original article as seen in the Galveston Daily News:
Investing in early childhood education is the best thing you can do for your community. The longterm social implications are simply incredible. By putting a little effort in now, our neighborhoods, city, county and nation will reap the rewards in the future.
Did you know that fewer than half of American kids go to preschool? Those kids who receive a quality early education are half as likely to be arrested, tend to have longer marriages and delay parenthood by an average of two years.
Dan Freeman’s piece (“Daycare and preschool: The keys to a great education,” The Daily News Nov. 5), shared some compelling reasons about the importance of early childhood education. Some other reasons you may not know — kids with a great early childhood education experience are less likely to drop out of school, are 20 percent more likely to graduate from high school, and are more likely to attend a four-year college than their counterparts.
If that’s not enough for you, by age 40, people who experienced a quality early childhood education experience are 24 percent more likely to own a home, 18 percent more likely to be employed, and more likely to have higher earnings.
Freeman focused on how to improve our formal early childhood education opportunities for Galveston’s youngest — and rightly so — but there are also things parents can and should do. After all, a parent (or guardian) is the single biggest contributor to a young child’s education, even more so than preschool teachers.
So what can you do to give your child the best chance?
For the majority of young people, enthusiastic and habitual reading is the single most predictive personal habit for the ability to achieve desirable life outcomes. In short, spend time reading and building your child’s vocabulary every day with tools like ReadyRosie. It’s a free email based tool kit that helps parents build their child’s word bank every day in less than 5 minutes.
Through a digital video service delivered directly to email, ReadyRosie’s mission is to equip and inspire parents and caregivers to create informal, enjoyable learning environments for young children to experience their first encounters with literacy and numeracy. With the push for every child to have access to formal learning experiences through Universal pre-K efforts, we cannot forget the important emphasis on providing every child with informal, fun learning opportunities. For more information about the ReadyRosie program, visit www.readyrosie.com.
Erica Adams is executive director of the Galveston Sustainable Communities Alliance. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.