The impact of preschool

By Barbara Marek

[caption id="attachment_3218" align="alignleft" width="150"] 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 no naps! Our kindergarten classroom reflects the same curriculum that first graders had when my own children attended El Verano.

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