I am a mom of a second grader, a kindergartner, and a preschooler. I am lucky in that both of my older kids had access to Pre-K through their preschool. My youngest will follow the same path and reach Pre-K in two years. After watching my first two go through Pre-K and then Kindergarten, it is a no-brainer that my youngest will as well. It is clear to me that Pre-K helped create two independent, eager learners ready for Kindergarten and elementary school!
As a mom, I believe that Pre-K is essential for a many reasons, but mainly for the pure and simple fact, that it prepares them for Kindergarten. That is Pre-K’s purpose. Kindergarten can be a scary and intimidating place. In our district, and many others, Kindergarten is located in the actual elementary school building full of bigger kids. Suddenly, these little 5 and 6 year olds (and their parents!) are out of the small and happy preschool bubble and in the real world. Kindergarten is the very first step into real school for so many kids. Thankfully, Colorado now offers free full day Kindergarten, which is where my middle kid is right now.
I felt as though my kids were more prepared for the structure and academics of kindergarten after attending Pre-K. By structure, I mean that preschool is a lot of free play. It’s a lot of learning about how to be around other kids. Pre-K builds on that by creating more independence through free play, but also demonstrating the structure required for Kindergarten. My kids felt more comfortable in the transition to the Kindergarten classroom with this introduction. And, by academics, I mean that Kindergarten focuses on reading, whereas Pre-K focuses on reading readiness. It helps to guide the kids to be open and excited to learn new letters, new sounds, and new words. By the time my kids reached Kindergarten, I felt like they had a very strong foundation. The intimidation of learning was less if not gone.
I feel as though all kids would benefit from Pre-K just like mine. Not only will the kids be more prepared for Kindergarten, and therefore elementary school, but it will also level the playing field where all incoming Kindergartners have the same strong foundation.
Voters have an opportunity to support Pre-K for all Colorado students on the ballot this year. Proposition EE will increase taxes on big tobacco and close the tax loophole for vape products. Those funds will ensure universal, free preschool for all Colorado kids as well as provide desperately needed funding for public schools. Join me in voting YES ON PROP EE when you get your ballot.