What is the greatest gift you can give your child?

Published 7:21 am Thursday, December 20, 2018

By Jayne Gibson

Executive Director, Austin Aspires

If you were told there was one thing that you could do for your three- or four-year-old child today that would impact him/her through age 40 and beyond, would you do it? The Perry Preschool Study, https://highscope.org/perrypreschoolstudy, is a study that was started in the 1960’s, yet still relevant today.

Jayne Gibson, Executive Director, Austin Aspires

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In this study, from 1962-1967, 123 children ages 3 and 4, each of them born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school, were randomly divided into two groups. Children designated as the “program group” entered high-quality preschool programming. The “comparison group” received no preschool programming. The most recent phase of this study was completed in the early 2000s, when participants were in their 40s.

This final phase interviewed 97 percent of the participants that were still living at age 40. They learned that the adults from the “program group” (those who attended preschool) had higher earnings, committed fewer crimes, were more likely to hold a job, and were more likely to have graduated from high school than their peers from the “comparison group” (those who did not receive preschool programming). Enrolling your child in preschool impacts more than just a couple of years of your child’s life. It has truly long-lasting results.

We are fortunate in our community to have a number of high-quality preschool programs for our children! Your chance to learn more about each of these programs is right around the corner. On Saturday, Jan. 12, the Mower County Preschool Showcase will happen from 10 a.m. to noon at the Austin High School Hastings Gym. This showcase is designed to be a one-stop-shop for all things preschool.

You will learn more about each of the preschools in our community, transportation, extracurricular activities, scholarships and more.

You don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity! There is absolutely no cost to attend and it is open to everyone!

There will be activities for the preschool aged child, as well as information for parents. This event will not include registration for preschool. That will happen at a later date at each individual preschool.

Instead, this is an opportunity for you to find the preschool that best meets the needs of your learner and your family. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please call Jennifer Lawhead at CLC at 507-460-1700 or Jayne Gibson at Austin Aspires at 507-437-0920.