LTE: Clearfield Area United Way Believes in Early Learning

Dear Editor:

The Clearfield Area United Way (CAUW) believes in early-learning and school readiness.

CAUW member agencies are making differences in the lives of children daily.  Our Reading Ripples project has distributed over 5,000 books to area children.

Research continues to confirm that high-quality Pre-K is among the best and most cost-effective initiatives.

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 300,000 three- and four-year-olds, including 1,700 in Clearfield County. However, only a small fraction of those children are enrolled in publicly-funded Pre-K.

Many of those who are missing out are at-risk of academic failure. In fact, 542 children lacked access to publicly-funded, high-quality Pre-K last year.

Community philanthropic organizations have made efforts to promote high-quality Pre-K but cannot get the job done alone.

We need the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to bolster its efforts to fund Pre-K programs and to reach those children who are missing out.

A new report by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children and the non-partisan Pre-K for PA outlines a multi-year investment that could help reach nearly 71,000 additional three- and four-year-olds over a four-year span.

If Pennsylvania would follow through on the proposed investment strategy, it could make publicly-funded, quality Pre-K available to more than 40 percent by 2019, as compared to fewer than 20 percent who benefited in 2013.

We could reach all of our Commonwealth’s at-risk three- and four-year-olds, helping them succeed.

United Way and other organizations across Pennsylvania have been doing their part to make Pre-K a priority because we know it works.

Pre-K benefits our children, our communities and our entire Commonwealth.

We are requesting the Commonwealth to make Pre-K a budget priority this year and in the years ahead, so that our region’s children can reach their fullest potential.

 

Most sincerely,

Nancy M. Pinto

Clearfield Area United Way

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One thought on “LTE: Clearfield Area United Way Believes in Early Learning

  1. TracyW

    I wanted to take a moment to thank the Clearfield Area United Way (CAUW) and Nancy Pinto for all the work they do in our communities for children and families. Specifically, I want to address their support for early care and education and their involvement in the Pre-K for PA efforts.
    As Nancy stated, “research continues to confirm that high-quality Pre-K is among the best and most cost-effective initiatives. A small fraction of the 1,700 3-and 4-year olds in Clearfield County are enrolled in publicly-funded Pre-K.”
    While Pennsylvania has made investments over the years in early education, it’s not good enough. Because a child’s brain is 90% developed by the time they are 5 years old, we must continue to capitalize on these critical years by putting education dollars into early learning programs.
    Pre-K really does work! Just ask any parent whose child is currently or has been involved in a publicly funded program. They will enthusiastically tell you how much it impacted their child or children.

    I agree with the Clearfield Area United Way’s support of increased investment in children. Frankly, our nation is depending on the next generation of leaders to be well prepared to serve and move our nation forward. Our children deserve the best possible start.

    Tracy Weaver
    Pre-K for PA supporter in Mahaffey

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