"They were so excited to come to school"
Donna from Manhattan says:
“In 1970 I taught pre-K for 1 year as part of the More Effective Schools program in East Harlem, NYC. Unfortunately the program lost funding. These little ones came from disadvantaged homes, most with single working parents and multiple siblings. They were so excited to come to school and learned so much in that classroom - educationally and socially - and enjoyed the structure and wonderful activities which they would not have experienced at home.
“I loved seeing their joy in discovering new things and felt rewarded to see the growth that took place. I am sure it prepared them well for Kindergarten. Now that I’m a grandma, I see the same curiosity, spirit, and desire to learn in my 3 1/2 year-old twin grandbabies. All young children should have the opportunity to attend pre-K.”
Share your own reasons for supporting universal pre-K and after-school: http://my.upknyc.org/stories
"A beautiful idea, and a necessary resource"
Megan from Brooklyn writes:
“My husband has one full-time and 2 part-time jobs, and I have one full-time job, and yet we are still struggling to make ends meet. The thought of the money we’ll spend on day care by the time he can go to public school is incredibly daunting, to say the least. Universal pre-K sounds like a God-send to me.
“Why shouldn’t our children’s formal education start before Kindergarten? We teach our son as much as we can at home during our precious and rare free time with him, but the idea that his education can continue on while we work hard to support our family in this tough economy gives me hope. It’s a beautiful idea, and a necessary resource that all families should have access to. I truly hope this moves forward and that my son and so many other children will benefit from universal pre-K.
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Lindsey from the Bronx
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"An essential first step"
“NYC’s universal pre-K plan will give children of poverty-stricken, non-English speaking, and dysfunctional families the opportunity to get ready for kindergarten,” writes Virginia, an educator from Manhattan.
“Kindergarten is preparation for Grades 1 and 2, and the ability to read is essential for self-esteem and academic success. You can only do well in kindergarten by knowing the basics of social behavior and school protocols as well as age-appropriate fluency in the language(s) of instruction. Pre-K is an essential first step in our kids’ learning.”
Got a story about universal pre-K and after-school? Share it: http://my.upknyc.org/stories
"400 applicants for 36 spots"
Leah from the Upper East Side writes:
“My son [pictured] turns 4 this year. He has overcome so many challenges since being diagnosed with torticollis. The preschool in our neighborhood had over 400 applicants last year for 36 spots. The average price for half day private preschool in our neighborhood is over $15k.
“We would hate to see our son miss a year of potential development after how hard he has worked. Please pass the pre-k programs to help all of the awesome NYC kids.”
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"It would relieve an enormous financial stress"
Hope from Brooklyn says:
“My four-year-old daughter, Georgia [pictured], has a little brother who is almost two. My husband and I are lucky: our children are happy, healthy, and developing normally. They attend a little school in our neighborhood, and they are well taken care of and learning a lot. The only downside is that it costs us $38,000 a year.
“Obviously, if my daughter got a seat in quality, full day pre-k, it would relieve an enormous financial stress on my family – but that is far from the only reason I think pre-k is so important. I know a lot of four year olds, through my daughter. They are curious, and crave knowledge. There is no question in my mind that they should all be in school.”
Join New Yorkers like Hope who are sharing their stories online: http://my.upknyc.org/stories
"A real struggle"
Kerryann from Queens tells us:
“When it comes to finding education for our two pre-schoolers, it’s been a real struggle. Our daughter will be starting pre-k this September with our son following right behind her next Sept. At this point her zoned school only offers a half day program, which is impossible for two working parents to arrange. While we have applied to neighboring schools, the demand for these programs is just too high. We need universal, full-day pre-K now.”
Have something to share about how early education affects you? Add your voice: http://my.upknyc.org/stories
Sadia from Manhattan
We’re nearing the finish line, and your stories could help make the difference. Share them: http://my.upknyc.org/stories
Tarna from Wappingers Falls, NY writes:
“There were no UPK or after school programs, such as we have now, when I struggled to read my ‘Jason’ book as a child. All I had, during those early 1950’s school days, was my parents unrelenting ‘literacy nudgings,’ if you will. But, there were parents who would not, for lack of interest, or could not, for lack of literacy skills, themselves, make reading an everyday activity. And, so their children suffered.
“That negative trend can be so easily and dangerously emulated by all our succeeding generations, if the power of our legislative officials does not swing in favor of programs that are known to dramatically increase the interest level of our kids.”
Share your own experiences that illuminate the critical importance of early education and after-school: http://my.upknyc.org/stories
Arlene from Manhattan
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