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Education begins before kindergarten for many children

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Updated: 9/23/2013 8:56 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- A strong push is underway across the country to support early education.

That is, getting three and four year olds into Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. But supporters say they can't do it alone. They are turning to the business community.

Little children in a Pre-K classroom may appear to be playing but they are learning.

"They're talking with their friends, they're describing what they're doing. Over here in science they are learning about insects and farm animals and in puzzles they are developing those fine motor skills so they can write and draw," said Sunrise Acres Elementary School teacher Janell Peterson.

Peterson says a lot of the parents work, so often many children come in not knowing how to write their name or recognize letters.

"We read to them daily. We help build vocabulary," Peterson said.

But there are a lot of children for one teacher. She had a parent volunteering Monday, but she could use some help. There is an effort nationally to get businesses to help improve early childhood education.

"These kids need a lot more one on one than what I am able to give them," Peterson said before a child came up to ask her about an art project.

The help needed is not just on a volunteer level, but that is very helpful. Principal Margarita Gamboa, who was once a student herself at Sunrise Acres says businesses can also get involved politically and financially.

"I mean do we want our children to be prepared when they graduate high school? And do we want them to graduate period?" Gamboa said.

Stratosphere Casino and Hotel has taken Sunrise Acres under its wing.

"Those kids thrive on knowledge. They need to learn and they need that fulltime involvement. Kids in that area don't always have the opportunity to go to a preschool," said Angie Lyndenberg, Community Connection Property Representative of Stratosphere.

Lydenberg says investing in small children is investing in the community's future, whether its time, equipment or financial.

"By getting in there and helping them now, we're giving them a chance to help our business and be thriving adults and they're going to be our front desk agents or be our vice presidents so it's crucial that businesses are involved," Lydenberg said.

Businesses interested in helping Pre-K classrooms can contact the schools individually, or connect through the Clark County School District, or United Way.
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