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Oklahoma’s Pilot Pre-Kindergarten Program Provides National Model

November 25, 2013
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Oklahoma’s Pilot Pre-Kindergarten Program Provides National Model
Pre Kindergraten
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The state also offers younger children free access to full-day, year-round nursery school.

“Since 1998, Oklahoma has offered universal access to pre-kindergarten and has one of the highest participation rates in the country, with 74 percent of all 4-year-olds enrolled in a pre-K program,” according to the Washington Post. Recently, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof visited a few families participating in the state’s universal pre-K program and was impressed by depth of support it offered low-income families. He noted how the issue of early childhood education isn’t political in Oklahoma, and attributes this as part of the program’s success. In addition to pre-kindergarten, the state also offers younger children free access to full-day, year-round nursery school. “Oklahoma also supports home visits so that social workers can coach stressed-out single moms (or occasionally dads) on the importance of reading to children and chatting with them constantly,” Kristof wrote. “The social workers also drop off books; otherwise, there may not be a single children’s book in the house.” So far, studies have shown that children enrolled in this program outperform those not enrolled. President Obama recently proposed nationwide adoption of this pre-k program modeled after the success in Oklahoma. Read Obama’s plan here. More on the program here.

 

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