Tick Tock Early Learning Center proudly celebrated the graduation of the preschoolers who will be part of the Classes of 2032 last Tuesday. Donned in their royal blue caps and gowns, 20 preschoolers marched into the playground full of family members to mark this milestone. The students entertained with a show of their musical enrichment exercises and, of course, a wonderful freeform dance performance filled with the joy of the day.
One of the students recited, “Now I’m off to the big kid school,” in a poem highlighting the next phase of their education. Center Director, Karen Ammon, addressing the students and families in English and in Spanish, applauded them for helping their children with a preschool education that readies them for the next phase of their life. Then, as each student was announced, they received a certificate of recognition. The day culminated in a music-filled lunch prepared by all the families and the snapping of pictures with loved ones to memorialize this accomplishment.
“The next project we are working on is to integrate the Pre-K Counts program into our center,” said Ms. Ammon. This program will offer funds to families who do not financially qualify for government-funded childcare, and whose children are perhaps at home with a grandmother or other caregiver, but would greatly benefit from subsidized part time preschool enrichment to ready them for more formal education. Ms. Ammon explained, “Learning center navigation, eating with a group, how to behave in a group setting, even taking care of personal care by themselves are basic skills that are needed for a child to be comfortable from day one in elementary school.”
Research has long shown that measures of classroom attention, effort, discipline, and participation are positively affected by pre-primary school attendance as evidenced in a working paper by the William Davison Institute of the University of Michigan, which states, “This positive effect on behavioral skills provides empirical evidence on some of the pathways by which pre-primary affected subsequent primary school test performance (Currie, 2001). Moreover, these behavioral skills are as important as cognitive skills to future success in life (Blau and Currie, 2004, Heckman et al., 2006).” [Citation: Berlinski, Samuel and Galiani, Sebastian and Gertler, Paul J., The Effect of Pre-Primary Education on Primary School Performance (July 2006). William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 838.]
For more information on Pre-K Counts or Tick Tock Early Learning Center, visit Ticktockelc.org.