As the Early Education Program Manager at United Way of Southern Nevada, I get to see the impact free early education has on children and families across our community every single day. It’s even more amazing to be able to share the joy of the kids and the gratefulness of the parents with others.
On January 10th, I and my colleagues were able to share that positive impact with Nevada State Senator Joyce Woodhouse during a tour of Henderson Christian Academy, one of our Nevada Ready! partners. Through the Nevada Ready! program, local centers like Henderson Christian receive resources and professional development for teachers that allow them to offer quality education in our classrooms. Perhaps most importantly, this investment from our state allows children from families with income 200% below the poverty line to attend high quality early education centers in their neighborhoods – for free! These are just a few of the reasons we were so thankful for the opportunity to share this program with Senator Woodhouse.
Children who have access to early childhood education develop cognitive and social skills at this early stage in their lives, which improves their chances at being successful academically and in their future career. As we toured the center, we saw those skills on display, from the morning check-in where students shared their moods and offered ways to cheer up a sad classmate, to reading time where students identified words that started with the letter “o”, their letter of the week.
The impact of the program doesn’t stop there, it is multigenerational. Denise Rodriguez, one of the parents at Henderson Christian Academy, shared how she benefits from her child participating in the program thanks to the scholarships the funding provides. We have heard from parents who can go back to work, grow professionally, and even go back to school thanks to the Nevada Ready! program.
Early childhood education has an amazing positive impact on children and families, which is why it’s important for us to advocate for the continued funding of the Nevada Ready! program by sharing visits like this and making our voices heard at the state legislature. Thank you, Senator Woodhouse, for being an advocate for our children and families, and thank you to all of our supporters for continuing the conversation and ensuring this funding continues for years to come!
If you are a parent benefiting from the program, a community advocate for early education, or a business leader who sees the workforce benefits of preschool, please reach out to our team and join our movement to ensure every child in Nevada has access to a quality early education.