Wednesday, 12 June 2024

'Preschooler for a Day' teaches importance of early education

Supervisor Rob Brown and local preschoolers enjoy learning activities during his recent stint as a preschooler for a day on Wednesday, April 28, 2010. Courtesy photo.





LAKEPORT – Proving he is truly “young at heart” and committed to quality early childhood education for Lake County’s young children, District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown recently enrolled in the Lakeport Early Connection Preschool for a one-day experience as a preschool student.

His participation is allowing advocates to raise awareness about the importance of quality early childhood education, said Shelly Mascari, director of the Lake County Child Care Planning Council.

The day began on April 28 at 8:15 a.m., and Brown enthusiastically joined circle time, during which teacher, Katie Mansell, guided the children through songs and activities reinforcing the seasons of the year, and their monthly theme of “growing and changing.”

Students were invited to bring in photographs of themselves as infants, and share with the class skills and abilities they now have that they didn’t have as babies. The children glowed with pride as they shared skills they had mastered.

This activity helps prepare children for success in elementary school, by increasing their self-esteem, and preparing them to confidently share their ideas with the group.

“Many children enter kindergarten without this ability, and those who have had the benefit of a quality preschool experience really hit the ground running and find early success, which increases positive attitudes about school,” said Shirley Littleton, site supervisor at Lakeport Early Connection Preschool.

Brown's busy morning continued with outside activities, during which the children learn the importance of physical activity for a healthy lifestyle. Mascari said he was a big hit, with the kids lining up for the tire swing.

The day’s activities continued with spatial awareness activities, like blocks and puzzles; and pre-math skills development with art and games. Mascari said Brown seemed to enjoy tracing letters in piles of shaving cream, an activity that is popular with all the students.

The highlight of the day was the creation of a worm farm, which provided a great hands-on science learning experience.

Quality early childhood education has been proven an effective way to eliminate the achievement gap and make sure all children have equal opportunity to succeed in school, Mascari said.

Recent research has definitively found that adults who had the benefit of quality early childhood education achieved (from the Perry/High Scope Preschool Study):

  • Higher monthly earnings (29 percent versus 7 percent earning more than $2,000 per month);

  • Higher percentages of home ownership (36 percent versus 13 percent);

  • Higher level of schooling completed (71 percent versus 54 percent completing 12th grade or higher);

  • Lower percentage receiving social services (59 percent versus 80 percent);

  • Significantly fewer arrests (7 percent versus 35 percent).

April was “Lake County Cares for our Kids” Month, which helped raise awareness about child abuse prevention, and the importance of quality early childhood education. Brown finished off a month of activities that included an Advocacy Walk, a Children’s Art Festival and the countywide paper doll project.

“Lake County is especially fortunate to have leaders who support children’s issues,” said Mascari.

She said that Brown enthusiastically participated in this activity, Supervisor Jeff Smith, showed his support in the Advocacy Walk and Art Festival, and Supervisors Denise Rushing, Anthony Farrington and Smith were set to participate in the Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award Dinner.

“We appreciate their support; it makes a difference,” said Mascari.

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