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Quality Pre-K Education Focus of Conference in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — It was a learning experience today in Springfield with top educators coming together to learn more about the importance of a quality pre-k education.

Today’s focus was all about getting teachers and pre-k providers on the same page when it’s come to education.  As part of the state’s early learning challenge, the conference focused on quality education before children reached kindergarten.

“We recognize and all the research is clear in urban centers with high levels of poverty, preschool and quality preschool experience… actually birth to grade 8 is so important for kids if they don’t have a quality preschool program they start kindergarten so far behind they never catch up in literacy,” says Superintendent of the Springfield Public Schools, Daniel Warwick.

The discussions centered around alignment.  Public school system working with pre-k learning centers to have an overall strategy in guiding early learning. The state awarded a $200,000 grant to Springfield to continue efforts already successful in places like Square One.

“We’re sharing curriculum, we’re sharing assessments, we’re sharing knowledge on how young people learn and we are doing it as a team with the Springfield School Department,” explains Joan Kagan, with Square One.

And that’s why other districts around western Mass. are listening closely, seeing the potential in improving the quality and coordination of birth to pre-k learning.

“Education as you know is focusing mainly on k through 12 education but as you notice based on the presentation today that before coming to school is an essential component,” notes Superintendent of Holyoke Schools, Dr. Sergio Paez.

Springfield was recognized in June of 2012 as an All-America City, chosen from more than 100 entries across the country based on its reading success in a 4th grade community-wide initiative.


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