Better preschool equals higher graduation rate

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Cute kids show off for their parents at Head Start's community resource fair by singing an alphabet song. That, combined with daily instruction, is just one way pre schoolers prepare for the next big step, public school.

"Head Start's curriculum is the same curriculum as the school district," Onita Brown, a parent said. "They're learning."

Parents easily recognize their daughters and sons are better prepared for school.

"She had already learned how to write her name here," La'Kisha Rogers recalled about her daughter. "So when she went to kindergarten she already knew how to do it and they didn't really have to help her with it."

This is the sort of education Head Start Nacogdoches has been doing for 41 years. Enrollment began with 60 children. Friday, across the greater East Texas region, more than 650 children are served - close to 250 in Nacogdoches alone.

Stimulus dollars came just in time.

"We've been flat funded for about the last four years," Patrick Sanders, an administrator shared.  "So this was the first year that we saw an increase in funding."

The money was used to hire additional staff. Now, administrators are hopeful for additional dollars from the second round of stimulus funding.

If granted, they know how it will be spent. It will pay for expansion of the Early Head Start, a  program designed for infants. This way children can start learning even before they learn to talk.

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