Early education is key

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2016

When I was in middle school, I was certain I would become a teacher or lawyer.
I managed to accomplish one of those goals. For four years I was a preschool teacher at a school in Waveland.
When I first started, I worked with one-year-old students and by the time I left, I was the lead teacher in the two-and-three-year-old classroom.
In today’s paper, there is a story about the Southern Pearl River County Excel By 5 program, which will be a great asset to the southern end of this county.
Poplarville is already an Excel By 5 certified community. Their resource center is located on Pearl River Community College’s campus.
The importance of early childhood learning is not lost on me. Even in the infant classroom, my former co-workers read to the children and identified colors and letters of the alphabet.
Through the use of song and play, we were able to teach the children how to identify parts of their body and how to paint and write.
In my three-year-old class, my favorite lesson involved having my students trace their names. They loved it and were proud of themselves when they learned how to write their name without tracing.
I used to read the book Chicka Chick Boom Boom during circle time. It’s a book about the letters of the alphabet. My students were always so excited when I sang the words of the book.
Outside recess activities provided me an opportunity to teach students about trees, the weather and other things found in nature.
Parents have often told me that their child’s preschool years played an important role in their success in school.
I’m looking forward to the day that the southern end of the county becomes an Excel By 5 certified community.
I also encourage parents to take advantage of the resources that will be offered once the centers are open. It’s important that our children are prepared for school.

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