For many parents, deciding whether or not to send your child to pre-K is tough. It’s hard to send your baby off to school for the first time. But as hard as it might be, pre-K is the right choice, especially in Arlington ISD.
“Research demonstrates that high-quality preschool education can substantially increase children’s chances of succeeding in school and in life,” said Dr. Jackeline Orsini, Arlington ISD’s director of early childhood learning. “It helps build a strong foundation for kindergarten and sets them up for greater success in many areas of life.
Arlington ISD’s pre-K programs do exactly that. They inspire creativity and exploration in three- and four-year-olds and prepare them not only for kindergarten, but for their entire educational journey.
Here are just a few of the reasons why pre-K is so important for every child in laying the foundation for their future success.
1) Inspires Learning
Pre-K provides opportunities for children to learn in ways that interest them. Arlington ISD’s pre-K programs promote curiosity, creativity and exploration. Children are encouraged to make decisions, ask questions, think and solve through purposeful play.
“We help pre-K students build a strong literacy foundation and excitement to continue learning,” Orsini said. “Our early childhood teachers make learning fun by integrating a variety of games and activities, music, physical movement, arts, read-aloud stories, technology and dramatic play.”
Learning is fun in pre-K and it inspires kids to embark on a lifetime of learning.
2) Supports Social and Emotional Skills
While attending Arlington ISD’s pre-K program, your child will learn how to take turns, listen to others without interrupting, follow directions and express their emotions appropriately.
Pre-K teachers often teach students songs that help them convey what and how they are feeling.
“Pre-K sets the foundation for children to learn how to communicate what they are feeling and how to cope with it,” said Mary Eldredge, librarian at Kooken Education Center.
Pre-K also helps children learn how to take care of themselves. They learn how to wash their hands, eat by themselves, and even keep their personal belongings organized. They learn how to care for themselves and be responsible while also being respectful of others.
3) Teaches Structure and Routine
Arlington ISD’s pre-K teachers work on establishing routines, which give children a sense of security, and therefore reduce anxiety and stress and develop confidence and independence. Children feel empowered and confident once they understand the structure of how their school day will go.
“As a former elementary school administrator, I have been blessed to witness firsthand the joy and excitement that our pre-K students experience as they learn and discover alongside their peers in a loving and nurturing environment,” said Lilly Hamner, Arlington ISD early childhood coordinator.
4) Creates Community
Community is crucial for early development, and that’s why it’s so important to create activities where children learn while interacting with their peers. An example of this is asking students to work together to set the table for snack time or gather materials for an upcoming activity.
In this environment, children learn to problem solve, work together and communicate with each other. They learn how to collaborate with their peers and be a member of a small community.
“It is our role as educators to build a strong foundation for the growth of our children and equip them with the skills to be kind and compassionate people,” said Kim Higbee, pre-K teacher at Little Elementary.
5) Kindergarten Ready
Pre-K graduates are “kindergarten ready,” equipped to start their educational journey on the right foot.
“Pre-K students have an opportunity to practice the foundation of colors, shapes, letters, sounds, numbers and counting” said Starrett Elementary kindergarten teacher Allsion Debusk. “Having these foundational skills when they come to kindergarten definitely helps them with their confidence from the beginning and lets them feel successful. Both of those are so important in children and in building their foundation for learning.”
Children also develop physical coordination and fine motor skills in pre-K. They get many opportunities to work on control of their fingers through art, hands- on- activities and many fun projects.
So, when kindergarten comes, they are ready!
6) Long-term Benefits
Pre-K doesn’t just get kids ready for kindergarten, it sets them up to be successful throughout their academic career and beyond.
Studies show that students who attend pre-K are three times more likely to be proficient readers by third grade, which is essential in determining long-term success in school.
“Pre-K students have increased vocabulary, literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They are more likely to be high school graduates and earn higher wages in the workforce,” said Nadia Azari, early childhood instructional specialist.
Pre-K is the perfect program to help your little learner start their academic journey on the right foot. To register for pre-K at Arlington ISD, click here and begin the process today!