Education: the sooner the better!

Published 1:38 pm Saturday, February 27, 2016

To the Editor:

Hattie Francis, Executive Director of Western Tidewater Smart Beginnings, wrote a very informative article in this paper dated February 24 advocating support for pre-kindergarten education. The following quote comes from her article: “Individuals who receive high-quality preschool are four times more likely to graduate from a four-year institution and five-percent more likely to hold consistent employment in their late 20s.”

One of the major challenges facing professionals in the Franklin Public Schools is that students entering kindergarten are developmentally far behind their peers across Virginia. Franklin teachers report significant educational differences between those students who have experienced preschool educational opportunities versus those who have not.

Programs like Smart Beginnings and those at the Children’s Center provide valuable educational programs that cover a multitude of deficiencies and disabilities and ultimately smooth the way for success later in the classroom.

The term “investment” truly fits this situation since a small outlay of funds in the early stages of a student’s life reduces the much higher costs of auxiliary programs and dropouts later in life. We all should support these programs with the best resources we can muster.

Bob Holt