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The impact of preschool

<b>By Barbara Marek</b>

[caption id="attachment_3218" align="alignleft" width="150"]<a href="http://www.sonomanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Marek.barbara.jpg"><img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-3218" alt="Barbara Marek " src="http://www.sonomanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Marek.barbara-150x150.jpg" width="150" height="150" /></a> Barbara Marek[/caption]

I have been a teacher for 27 years –  most of those in kindergarten at El Verano Elementary School. I simply love my job, and I love it even more since we have the benefit of our El Verano preschool.

When I was listening to the radio this week, I heard this quote from Steve Wozniak regarding his business success. He said, “When some people look at adversity, I look at opportunity.” That is exactly what the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s recent donations have enabled. They are bringing the opportunity of a brighter future to our youngest learners.

I have seen so many changes in the kindergarten curriculum over the time I have been teaching. When I was first hired years ago, kindergarten was a half day, focusing on social skills, art, music, movement, rhythms and play. Louann Carlomagno, our district superintendent, shared that one of her fondest memories of kindergarten was being the “wake-up fairy.” With a somewhat magical wand, she tapped classmates on the head, indicating that rest time was over. Now, kindergarten is a full day, with the emphasis on language arts, math, science, social studies and, yes, we still squeeze in that music, movement, rhythm, art and play, but <i>no</i> naps! Our kindergarten classroom reflects the same curriculum that first graders had when my own children attended El Verano.


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