By Mr. Kevin Stabinsky (IMCOM)September 30, 2010
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. -- On Sept. 23, several parents went back to pre-kindergarten (pre-k) class.
To let parents know the type of education their children received during their first month of school, the Child, Youth and School Services pre-k staff held an open house. During the two-hour event, parents were able to talk with teachers and see the different types of activities the children had accomplished or were working on.
"This way, parents know what is going on and can take it and use it at home," said Victoria Barrera, pre-k teacher.
Parental involvement not only helps refresh lessons taught in school, but also encourages children's desire to learn and improves their self-esteem, Barrera added.
"As a child, you want your parent to be there, to be proud of you," she said. Patricia Brogdon-Wilcox, management analyst with the U.S. Army Forces Command G-3, whose granddaughter, Kimorah Brogdon-Smith, 4, attends the class, said that was the reason she came to the event.
"If you show support at home, your kid is more likely to want to learn," she said.
Besides working on reinforcing whatever Kimorah is taught that day, Brogdon-Wilcox said she reads to her every night and also gave her an easel board to practice her writing on.
Thus far, Wilcox said she has seen Kimorah's growth in learning to count and in identifying the days of the week.
Such learning has also impressed Barrera, who told parents the children were all very smart and that more than half of the class is already meeting some of the standards necessary to attend kindergarten.
Parents got to see some of these results first hand at the open house.
Different stations were set up showing projects the children were working on, such as learning the phases of the moon, recognizing letters and numbers and the different arts and crafts children did to build their fine motor skills.
Besides seeing what her daughter, Lyla, 4, was learning, Danielle Ashliman said she was also pleased to see the social skills Lyla was developing. Ashliman, wife of Air Force Staff Sgt. John Ashliman, Dobbins Air Reserve Base security forces, said pre-k was Lyla's first school environment.
"It lets me see her when I'm not here," Ashlima said of the photos depicting classwork. "I see she has a good time with other kids."
That socialization has also applied to Lyla's home life, where thanks to what she is learning, Lyla is better able to interact with her older sister, Kiara, 7, Ashlima said. Barrera said she hopes to continue keeping parents involved, offering them opportunities to volunteer to help, as well as holding future conferences with parents.