Early childhood education vital to keep students on track

Posted: Dec. 7, 2012 8:43 am Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 1:15 pm


To The Herald-Whig:

Education is the cornerstone of our society and deserves much more public support when it comes to financial assistance. In an article that appeared on the front of The Quincy Herald-Whig on Thursday, Nov. 29, it stated "We picked third-graders… because if they do not know how to read and write by the time they leave third grade, there's research out there that says they probably will not be successful from there on out."

The time spent finding a grant for these few third grade students should also be spent finding financial aid and support to stimulate the lack of preschool education that children need prior to entering kindergarten.

First, I am thankful that these third grade students are able to now receive the necessary tutoring to prepare them for Baldwin Intermediate and this grant will provide interventions in both reading and writing. On the other hand, if research has shown that students will not be successful if they do not know how to read and write, the intervention and extra support should be implemented at an earlier age.

The lack of preschool funding has greatly impacted the Quincy Public Schools because more children are coming to kindergarten unprepared and behind their preschool attending peers. It is difficult for teachers to bridge the gap between those students who have attended preschool and those who have not.

In the Quincy Public Schools, preschool funding and attendance has decreased over the last decade. There are fewer students attending preschool because their families are unable to afford it and the state is no longer providing financial support. It is difficult for these children to begin kindergarten with their preschool-going peers and stay on track.

It is important to provide resources and interventions for students of all ages, but grants and financial aid must be provided for children to attend preschool. More students will stay on the map and at grade level if interventions and aid is implemented during the early years of schooling, primarily preschool.

Student success in school stems from their basic education from an early age. State and government money should be allocated to improve the lower levels of education to create a chain reaction of success for all students.

The Quincy community must be made aware that efforts must be made to reinstate funding for preschool education.


Brittany N. Casey