Wednesday, February 19, 2014

United Way Pre-K Initiative


The United Way pre-k initiative passed the House Education Committee and the House floor, and is now going to the Senate.


When my kids started Kindergarten, the teacher made the comment that she can always differentiate the kids that attended preschool and those that didn’t.

With high-quality preschool, at-risk children are more likely to start school on track and stay on track. Without high-quality preschool, an at-risk child is 25% more likely to drop out of school, 70% more likely to be arrested for violent crime, and 60% more likely to never attend college.

Those who attend preschool are more likely to receive higher education and earn on average 50% more than non-preschoolers.

How you can help:


Send emails or make calls to your Senators! By clicking on the graphic above, you will be directed to an editable form online where you can fill out your information with personal experiences and send to your Senators. You don’t even need to know who your Senators are to send the message!

It’s important that you include why preschool is important and how it's affected you and your own children (or grandchildren).

The entire form takes about two minutes to complete and send. It’s that easy, and very important!


Once you have filled out the form, forward the information to five friends and encourage them to do the same.

Personal stories of families who have benefited from Pre-K:

My son was severly delayed in speech at 3 yrs old and later diagnosed with Autism, but we had him attend preschool through Granite School District and really believe that if he had not attended preschool would have been delayed in many other skills that he is flourishing in even though he has delayed speech.  He can count, knows all his letters and their sounds and I know this is from attending preschool. I am thankful for that opportunity because in regular daycare and even at home it is hard to teach skills that prepare our children for Kindergarten.  - Melinda Hill, Sandy

My son has benefited so much from the preschool program and I hope to see even more improvement in the coming year! Having a team of teachers on my side in teaching him educationally, emotionally and socially has been a wonderful support in my family.  - Whitney Preece, Magna

I am a preschool teacher in the Granite School Distirct. Most of the kids in my classes have come in barely knowing shapes and colors and not knowing their alphabet. Most of them didn't even know how to write, let alone spell their name. They couldn't even tell you the letter their name starts with. This meant that they didn't even know what their name looks like when it is written. Since being in preschool I can now say that all but 1 or 2 of the 33 students can find their name independently and several can write their name. They know all their shapes and colors, and they are learning social skills that will help them later on in life. I know some people think that we are ripping these young children out of the arms of their parents, but I will tell you that every single kid that is in my class has a parent if not 2 that are deeply grateful for the preschool program and some have wished they knew about it when their kids were 3 or even that they could have afforded it. Some might say the parents need to teach their kids more at home but not all parents know how to teach their kids and not all parents are available to teach. So many of the parents of children in preschool are either both working to get their families by or are single parents. I hope that you can see the dire need for this bill to pass. It IS a need more than a want. Good luck to you and I hope and pray that you will make the right choice and vote "YES" on this bill.  - Mari'm Naibaur, West Valley City

I have been reading much about HB96, the Utah School Readiness Initiative.  I strongly urge legislators to pass this important legislation. I have been personally affected by the need for high-quality preschool options. My son has a speech delay and we were lucky enough to qualify for preschool through the school district. Without this option, my son would be entering kindergarten at a severe disadvantage needing several resources. Because of the program, he will be starting on track with his peers.  I work hard and work to help my son, but having a preschool program with teachers who know exactly how to help him with his speech has made all the difference. Working Utah families need options, not roadblocks, to help our children succeed.  Please pass HB96 for the thousands of low-income kids like my son who just need a chance. - David Kelly, West Jordan


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