E. Texas educators encourage pre-school before kindergarten - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

E. Texas educators encourage pre-school before kindergarten

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Pre-school sign-ups are well underway and with a few weeks until the start of school and educators say the earlier you sign your child up the better. (Source KLTV Staff) Pre-school sign-ups are well underway and with a few weeks until the start of school and educators say the earlier you sign your child up the better. (Source KLTV Staff)
Last school year in Smith County only 36.8 percent of four-year-olds were enrolled in pre-school (Source: KLTV Staff) Last school year in Smith County only 36.8 percent of four-year-olds were enrolled in pre-school (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Preschool sign-ups are well underway, and with a few weeks until the start of school, educators say the earlier you sign your child up, the better.

"They are processing children right now to make sure they are enrolled and ready to start the first day of school," said Sonja Watson, Early Childhood Coordinator for HeadStart

Last school year in Smith County, only 36.8 percent of four-year-olds were enrolled in preschool.

In his state of the union address last year, President Obama proposed preschool for all, a federal and state partnership to provide 100 percent of children with high quality preschool.

"If you show up to kindergarten and you don't have a lot of exposure to education you're probably going to be in the portion of the class," said Debbie Lane, Director, Reading Journey Learning Center.

The idea behind this proposal is to lay a strong foundation for a child's education earlier, as opposed to later.

Director of the Reading Journey Learning Center, Debbie Lane, says many children who start kindergarten without pre-education feel pretty lost.

"You don't want to start that negative image, so it's great to go in prepared and feeling like you know what the other kids know,” Lane said.

Tyler ISD Early Childhood HeadStart Coordinator Sonja Watson says pre-k is also an opportunity for children to learn social skills.

"They learn how to be a part of a large group of children; they have learned the skills of walking in line, getting their trays in the cafeteria," Watson said.

Educators say there may be a downside to the president's proposal.

"I don't see any cons unless it relates to funding," Watson said.

The Universal Pre-K proposal is budgeted for $750 million; as of now, no action has been taken.

Tyler ISD begins classes August 22, and registration is going on now.

Educators say that if a child isn't able to be in a program, parents should be reading to and talking with their child to create an environment of learning at home.

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