2007-02-02 / Columnists

Addressing The Issues

Do Not Disturb: Learning In Progress
By Geraldine M. Chapey Democratic District Leader

Dr. Geraldine Chapey
Dr. Geraldine Chapey Education prepares our youngsters to take their place in a rapidly changing global world. It is a major agent of social change.

The Education Trust found that children who start behind in school are more likely to remain behind.

What does this mean for our children?

The Education Trust finds that it means that a child who does not know the alphabet when he/she enters kindergarten will more likely be behind in reading at the termination of kindergarten and remain behind by the end of the first grade.

Katie Haycock from the Education Trust has done extensive national research and compiled strong data that supports the fact that children who fall behind in language development and skill in early childhood are more likely to experience serious academic problems as they proceed in school.

In fact, the Education Commission of the States concluded that a child who is not a proficient reader by the end of the third grade will probably not graduate from high school.

In New York State we have a Universal Pre-K program.

How does this benefit our children?

It provides an opportunity for 4 year olds who are at a pivotal point in their development to be actively involved in an educational setting. The child's experiences at this formative age are basic to their future growth.

Teachers and parents have a crucial role in the development of the young child's emergent literacy which will provide the skills needed for a child to learn to read, according to Senechal and Fevre (2002). Through the Universal Pre-K parents and teachers can join together to help children start to develop a large vocabulary and learn grammatical sequences.

The language areas of the brain are rapidly developing at this time making it a prime time for learning a primary language and even a second language. The development of language ability is partly therefore the result of maturation but it is in large measure due to practical experience with language. It is important to extend a child's vocabulary so that he/she will have the tools to succeed in school.

Other areas of the brain are also developing at this time allowing the child to achieve new levels of understanding (Perner, 2002). Children are eager to understand the world which fascinates them.

The Universal Pre-K program at the West End Temple is exemplary. It provides youngsters with outstanding, age appropriate and sound educational programs focused on the needs of each individual child. The program meets the physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs of the 4 year olds in its care. The pedagogues at the West End Temple have the depth of knowledge, breadth of experience and expanse of vision to provide a first class educational experience for the children. The administrators, teachers and staff at the West End Temple UPK are resolute and passionate in their determination to successfully guide each child to reach their potential.

Verification of these accolades comes from the parents and the community. The good word about the high quality educational programs at the UPK has spread far and wide. Parents in the Rockaways are reaching out to enroll their children in this successful program. Graduates of the West End Temple UPK have gone on and succeeded in school because of the excellent foundation provided for them at this UPK.

Each child is unique. Each one begins a new autobiography in the world. Each child deserves an opportunity to succeed. The UPK programs are providing an avenue for success.

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