Letters to the Editor

Letter: High-quality preschool sets children on a path to success

Congratulations to the Richland School District on their funding award to expand the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP).

This new funding for additional kids nearly triples the number of youngsters in our community who will participate in ECEAP and get the early education they need to be successful in kindergarten. This is great news for the future success of our schools and for safe communities down the road, as well.

There is substantial evidence that high-quality preschool such as ECEAP sets children on a path of success in school from kindergarten that takes them through high school graduation. We also know from research that participating in high-quality preschool greatly reduces the likelihood that at-risk kids will end up in the criminal justice system.

In a study of at-risk preschool children in Michigan, those who attended a high-quality preschool were 44 percent more likely to graduate than those who did not attend. And those left out were five times more likely to be chronic lawbreakers as adults than those who attended.

Making sure kids start kindergarten well-prepared increases the odds they will graduate and stay out of trouble with the law. It’s a win for us all.

Chris Skinner

Chief of Police