Any kindergarten teacher can tell you that children who have had the benefit of preschool enter their classrooms ready – and eager – to learn, to interact, and to achieve. And studies show that students with the early education advantage are less likely to drop out, to need special education, to end up on welfare or even in prison. Those critical ‘First Five’ years lay the groundwork for a student’s entire future – and by extension, the future of our society. But in this country, there’s a wide gap between those who can afford preschool and those who can’t. Half of California’s low-income children arrive in kindergarten to find they’re already behind their peers – and unlikely to catch up. Why is it so difficult for us to give our children the head start they need?
Town Hall Speakers:
Molly Munger, Co-director, The Advancement Project
Dr. Celia Ayala, CEO, Los Angeles Universal Preschool
Maria Casillas, President, Families in Schools
Tamika Lang, California Community Investor for Global Corporate Citizenship, The Boeing Company
Richard Atlas, Co-founder and Trustee, The Atlas Foundation
Dr. Gail Zellman, Senior Research Psychologist, The RAND Corporation
Town Hall Vault Speaker:
Rob Reiner, actor/director and early education advocate (1998, 2002)
The students and teachers of Linda Vista Children’s Center, Pasadena
Full audio and transcripts of original TOWN HALL events are available upon request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.