My name is Kane and this is my message….
I have been going to preschool since I was 3 and “now I can write my name on my crafts, play happily and talk with my friends, sit on my spot, and listen to my teacher!
I have learned all about dinosaurs, community helpers, and being a bucket filler!” – Kane (age 4)
Kane is 4 years old and is off to Kindergarten in the fall. He is helping us reach out to the community to increase awareness of the importance of early learning. Here we share more of Kane’s message, from the viewpoint of his parents & teachers.
“We registered Kane in preschool because we knew the sooner we started, the more likely we were to see big changes! We have a lot of family support for childcare, which is a dream, but it didn't give Kane any consistent opportunities for socialization with other children his age. We had to take a leap of faith in the people helping us that they knew what was best for our son and our family.
The biggest change we have seen since he started preschool is his ability to engage and communicate with others of all ages. When he started preschool he had very few words and was not at all comfortable being away from his grandparents or us. Slowly, but surely, the morning drop offs got easier and the words became more frequent. As he finishes his second year, Kane will say hello to anyone he meets, approach new friends in the community, and enjoys participating in a variety of activities. He loves running errands and going to his brother’s school or activities, instead of simply trying to tolerate them. He actively participates in lessons, clubs, and on teams. He shows great empathy towards other people and animals. He is excellent at considering the emotions and feelings of others and has learned appropriate ways to respond to them. He is absolutely a different boy than he was in the fall of 2013!
We are so proud of Kane for moving out of his comfort zone of being at home with parents or grandparents and absolutely thriving at BELA. He has made friends he often talks about and has learned many things about being a good member of a community. He has a colorful personality and has become so very much fun to be around!” – Amber & Jordy (Kane’s parents)
“According to the Early Development Instrument, used to collect data for the ECMap project, Social Competence means, ‘a child plays and gets along with others, is curious and likes to explore, respects adult authority and is able to control his own behavior’. In Brooks & the County of Newell, 72.3% of Kindergarten children are developing appropriately, like Kane. That still leaves 27.7% of our Kindergarten children experiencing difficulty in this area of development.”- Jody Rutherford (Director of Education & Programming at BELA)
Social competence is developed through the introduction of routines and expectations. Staff in early childhood programs are able to support children as they develop self regulation (emotional control) skills. These social / emotional skills are difficult, if not impossible to learn without the context of a group setting with ones peers. For more detailed information about these social and emotional skills you can refer to the posts “ The Unwritten Curriculum or Why Should I Send My Child to Preschool?” and "Emotions Among Preschoolers" a post written by our own Mrs. Parenas.
“ Kane's social competence has improved significantly over the course of the school year. He is a curious boy who enjoys exploring new activities in the classroom with his peers. He demonstrates self-control by expressing his emotions in an appropriate manner, as well as recognizing emotions in others. Kane respects his teachers and children in the room and is willing to help out when needed. At BELA we continue to focus on character development and being a good 'bucket-filler' in order to prepare Kane and the rest of our students for Kindergarten.”- Marsha Blake
(Kane's Preschool Teacher)
"During the past two years, it has been my pleasure to get to know Kane. With tremendous support from his whole family, and our staff at BELA, he has progressed steadily in developing the early learning skills he will require for success in Kindergarten. One of the biggest areas of growth has been in his social competence skills, and now this bright eyed, happy little boy is ready and eager to experience further learning in Kindergarten this fall!" – Jody Rutherford
(Director of Education & Programming at BELA)
"We would recommend preschool to other parents because it is a perfect opportunity to stimulate a child's development in so many areas (gross and fine motor, language, socialization, behavior, etc.). Three and four year olds are capable of such incredibly accelerated learning and we think preschool is the best way to take advantage of that. There are so many talented early childhood development experts in Brooks and we are so glad that we were able to have them help us maximize Kane's potential. We do believe parents are a child's most important teacher, but it sure was nice to have such excellent support along the way. It was lots of miles, pick-ups, drop offs, and meetings but we don't regret a single second of it. Seeing our son succeed is so worth it!” – Amber & Jordy (Kane’s parents)
As Amber & Jordy mentioned, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful programs and professionals in our community. Please see the list of resources below and feel free to reach out, to have questions or concerns about your child heard. Additionally, if you are an early childhood program provider and would like to be included in related posts please contact me asap.
Brooks & County Immigration Services
Brooks Early Learning Academy
Parents As Teachers
Grasslands Intervention Offices
403.362.8729 ext 116
SPEC Parent Link Center