So, per usual, I was tuned in to NPR on Michigan Radio last night while driving my oldest son around in my car. This week they are broadcasting a Winter Documentary series, and Tuesday night's was called "Early Lessons", about how and why pre-school or Pre-K education was started in this country. Did you know it originated in Ypsilanti, Michigan? I didn't.
The Perry Pre-school Project was started in the late 1950's by an Ypsilanti school administrator named David Weikert, trying to find out why so many poor, African- American children were faring so poorly in school. I really took a liking to this guy because instead of looking for problems with the children, like most of the administration, Weikert decided to look for problems in the system.
As a mom, I urge anyone with pre-school age children, or any aged children, to look at this documentary written by Emily Hanford and distributed by American Radio Works. If you can't stream it on the web, the entire story is in print here. Not only is it very interesting to hear the reasoning behind the entire program, it is completely and totally relevant to today's educational debate going on in Congress. Read this story and you'll be hard pressed to vote against funding early childhood education.
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