In today’s society one can’t help but hear about all the negative issues surrounding the public education system.
With devastating cutbacks across the country our schools have been taking hit after hit and it is no surprise that the signs are showing up in many ways with our student success rates dropping and more and more children seemingly slipping through the ever-increasing cracks.
It is with all this in mind that I wanted to share a positive story about early childhood education and the dedication of several people, especially Monica Simms and Helen Robinson.
Helen is the teacher at the Gitanmaax Nursery School in Hazelton and Monica is the lady who is somewhat behind the scenes at the Gitanmaax Band Office. Helen is loved by all her students and any parent I have spoken with are just as appreciative of her great mannerisms with the children as well as her efforts to prepare the youngsters for the next level and beyond.
As a bonus for parents whose children attend, Monica, Helen, Rose and Verna (just two of the other many devoted helpers), put on a workshop called Ready for Kindergarten. It is a three stage program and gives parents great ways to get their children prepared for the big step up to Kindergarten. Not only do they hand out wonderful games, learning and teaching tools and more, they teach you how to use them and why they are important. Even with the wonderful resources available today such as the Internet, I was amazed at how much I was not aware. I have learned why teaching children to follow or create patterns is important, it is a tool that helps them learn to read!
I think the biggest and most shocking fact I learned was that those children who are well prepared for Kindergarten stay at the top of their class and excel throughout their years in school.
Just as staggering are the results for those youngsters who are not prepared as they have a hard time ever recovering from being behind for years.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot to get our little ones ready and it is simple things like reading every day and playing fun learning games that make the difference. I have learned so much in the first two sessions that I wish every parent could be so fortunate to have people like Monica and Helen and the Ready for Kindergarden program in their lives.
You can actually find a lot of it online for those that are interested and it is comparable to things such as Success by Six. However, Monica has spent a great deal of time finding great ways to help children learn and this is the program she recommends and I am grateful.
The only unfortunate side to all of this is, there are not more top notch nursery schools out there for people and their beautiful little ones.
While our education system in Canada is deteriorating on many levels, there are still many out there fighting to give our future leaders a helping hand.