Learning Starts Early, and you can help!

Saint James’ is so excited to launch Learning Starts Early. How can you help grow this ministry? Register as a volunteer for any or all of the three Free Preschool Parent Workshops Saint James’ is helping make possible. 20 volunteers are needed for each session. See a complete description of volunteer opportunities.

lse sjecWhat do children learn in preschool?

Statistics show that on a weekly basis:

  • more than 90 percent of preschool students spend time learning the names of letters and seeing print while reading
  • more than 80 percent practice writing
  • 89 percent work on writing their own names
  • more than 90 percent of preschool
  • students practice counting out loud at
  • least once per week
  • 90 percent use geometric manipulatives.

These kinds of activities have a huge payoff. Studies consistently report that children who have access to high-quality learning environments enter kindergarten far ahead of their peers who did not receive these supports.

Preschool is also more than learning letters and numbers. Children in high quality preschool programs learn crucial social and emotional skills, too. They are taught how to communicate needs and feelings, ask for help, manage behaviors, and begin to be able to regulate their emotions.

There is no doubt about it. Learning really does start early!

“As a former school administrator, my observation is that the value of preschool quickly became apparent when we began looking at the academic needs of our entering kindergartners.

Those children who had consistently been read to from an early age, either by their parents or by their preschool teachers, had larger vocabularies and more developed cognitive skills.

Without delving into the abundance of available research to this effect, let me just say from personal observation, children coming to us from language rich environments more easily excelled in school.

Those who did not often were significantly behind academically by the end of third grade, despite all the interventions we could provide.

Improvement for these children was significant but not enough to level the playing field in many instances. Although many of our at-risk children came from loving homes, their parents had no knowledge of the importance of reading aloud, often had no books or money with which to purchase books, and lacked the accompanying skills to engage their children in language rich activities.

For these children, preschool as early as possible along with programs to help their parents learn what to do to engage their children in language development activities would certainly help close the gap between children who are linguistically advantaged and those who are not.

Count me as a believer in preschool education.”

-Bronwyn White