Parents often agonize over when to send their child to school for the first time. Is two years old too young? Is kindergarten too old? Does it really matter? Stevens Cooperative School will be hosting an evening information reception for parents that will answer these questions and explore the lasting value of early childhood education.
The informational reception, with wine and hors d’oeuvres, will be held on Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Stevens’ facility at 339 River St. RSVP to Nancy Rossi, Director of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (201) 792-3688. Tours and limited spaces in some programs are also available.
“The benefits of enrolling your child in a structured program at a young age aren’t simply transient,” says Cara Natale, Lower School Coordinator at Stevens. “In fact, research has shown that the brain grows dramatically by age three, producing billions of cells and hundreds of trillions of connections between these cells. We know now that if some of those synapses aren’t developed properly, they can be lost forever.”
The answer to the question of when to send any child into their first school experience is specific to every family and every student, Natale says, but what is not in dispute is that quality preschool programs set children up for success throughout their school years and beyond.
“At Stevens, our youngest students’ classroom experience is informed by the latest in educational research, which is key to what we do in our elementary and middle schools,” says Natale. “So we aren’t looking at our 2’s and 3’s programs in isolation but instead as foundational to success in our school, or any school the student attends in the future.”
At the information session, parents will be able to meet not only preschool teachers, but also middle school teachers who will be able to ‘connect the dots’ between the pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills learned at age three and the research reports and algebra that they will be doing in middle school.
“One of the things is that parents always want to know when they visit our school is – will learning to read the daily schedule, or participating in a morning meeting really make a difference in how my child learns at ten?” says Natale. “At Stevens, we believe that the skills can be fostered very naturally at age two or three, and important habits of mind – inquisitiveness, thoughtfulness, collaboration – simply become a part of the child’s behavior, not something they have to learn in addition to academic coursework.”