My daughter was a very unsociable child who was diagnosed with OCD, bipolar disorder, and speech problems by the time she was 2. Unlike most children her age, when in a room full of other children, she would go off in a corner by herself and play. She was very hard to understand when trying to voice what she wanted even after help from a speech therapist. That ultimately led to frustration on all of our behalves. So it wasn’t a far out thought when both her behavioral and speech doctors recommended enrolling her in the Pre-K program. I had my doubts and fears at first like most parents would but after some serious thinking and talking my husband and I decided we would enroll her.
The first few days were touch and go with both of us. She wanted to go with me and I didn’t want to leave her, afraid that she wouldn’t fit in. I, however, was reassured that she would be okay and after a few days she was. She started making friends and blossoming into a child I had only ever hoped for. She went from an unsociable little girl to a child who was loved by all of her peers. Throughout the school year she learned to read, write, sing her ABC’s, learn her shapes, colors, what color you get when you mix two colors together, and so much more. Even though I had worked with her at home with all of these things there was something about the school environment that helped her learn better and faster. Her speech became more clear and she was finally able for the first time to pronounce certain letters that I wondered if she’d ever pronounce right. By the end of the school year when I would go to pick her up she would beg to stay and finish story time and so I would sit and watch her teachers and her classmates and was amazed by how great the teachers were with the children and how much the teachers loved them. I saw so many little faces, that at the beginning of the school year were frightened at the prospect of school, had blossomed and became very smart intelligent little kids who because of this program were ready for Kindergarten and were so much more comfortable with it. That went hand in hand with all the anxiety that I had as a parent when it came to sending my daughter to Kindergarten. Since she became comfortable with it and felt she was ready, I was therefore more comfortable and ready to send her. At the end of the year she graduated Pre-K in a special ceremony that the teacher and school gave them. That’s one more thing, one more memory, that Pre-K gave my daughter and I will forever be grateful for the teachers and the program.
For the parents who have had their children in the Pre-K program, you understand where I am coming from. For the parents thinking about enrolling their child, they should. I think that without the Pre-K program there would be so many children that would be so lost when they started Kindergarten. Shouldn’t children no matter how young they are be allowed to get education? Isn’t that what this country is about – education and freedom? Yes, it is an expensive program but in the long run doesn’t the benefits and knowledge these kids walk away with outweigh the costs? I, for one, am a parent that will always support the Pre-K program and fight to see that it remains in place for all those kids out there that would benefit greatly from it. Are you willing to do the same for your child’s future?