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Tips for parents who play with their children or who want stay-at-home income.
Toys for special need, autism, gifted and typical kids.

August 23, 2009

No Parent Left Behind

United Way of New York reports that "New York City is home to the largest number of preschool-aged children living in poverty of any U.S. city. New York also has a high concentration of young children born of first generation immigrant parents. With poverty and lack of English-speaking proficiency at home posing major risks for school failure, New York's preschoolers are especially likely to benefit from high-quality early care and education.

Research shows that children in high quality early learning programs are better prepared for academic success when they enter kindergarten. In addition,

  • They are 50% less likely to need special education and 25% less likely to be held back at the end of 3rd grade.
  • They are also less likely to experience teen pregnancy or commit crimes, and they have better literacy, math and social skills than their peers.
  • It is estimated that for every $1 invested in high-quality early care and education, $7 is saved in unnecessary welfare payments, uncommitted crimes, decreased use of special education, and reduced unemployment."

This last statistic is particularly startling.

It is my hope that many issues could be addressed even before a child is born...I call it, "No Parent Left Behind." We need parenting programs that will help unwed mothers, teen moms, high school dropouts and college grads alike. Isn't it strange that we get more instructions with our DVD player than our new baby? And that many parents simply don't know that they need to talk to, read to, sing to and play with their babies? It is part of what drives the work I do in helping parents and preschools acquire the types of educational toys that help children develop a love of learning through play. I meet parents everyday and am doing my small share in changing the world, one child, one parent at a time. (If you'd like to join me, contact me at

1 comment:

Billie said...

A reader emailed me privately with this query:
"Good afternoon, I read your information on the above subject and I get it for preschool children. Do you have any suggestions for Parent involvement at the High School age level. I am a parent of 3 in the DC high school and I am struggling to get more parent involvement at this level. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated."

My response, as a parent of a high schooler myself, is to participate in all the events the school offers. Volunteer to mentor a club if you have a special skill or talent. Attend parent-teacher conferences and open school days. Let the kids see that parents are interested in what's going on in the lives of their children.

At home, try to have an occasional family game night. Teens may not reach out to tell you what's on their minds, but over a game of cards or Monopoly or Scrabble, some thoughts may spill out.

Frank conversations about finance, how to spend/save responsibly, dating dos and don'ts, college applications/financial aid, household chores, should take interest and let your children know you are there for them and that you are involved.

The read-aloud expert, Jim Trelease, suggests reading to your children, long after they can read for themselves...even until they go off to college. Amazingly, kids can understand more complex material when it is read to them than when they are reading it to themselves.

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