Every parent wants what is best for their child, starting from their earliest days. Although all children are different, their development is deeply influenced by family, culture and society.
At Pittsburgh Public Schools, we have a long-standing history of providing children from age birth to five with educational opportunities that recognize their unique strengths and help them grow into lifelong learners. There’s a good reason for our focus on early learning.
Experts agree that children who attend a high-quality early education program are better prepared for elementary school and beyond. They are less likely to be held back in a grade, less likely to have special needs, and more likely to graduate from high school than children who did not attend such a program.
According to Carol Barone-Martin, executive director of PPS Early Childhood, the first eight years of life are crucial for developing brain “architecture”—the connections that are needed for learning, behavior and health.
During the formative years, children gain a foundation in important academic concepts. They develop strong language and communications skills, learn appropriate social behavior and build trusting relationships with adults and each other.
PPS recently announced an exciting pilot program that brings together partners from the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and the Heinz Foundation with experts from PPS Early Childhood Education to provide even more student-centered, play-based learning.
“There’s scientific evidence that young children are more likely to learn through playful instruction than through teacher-based materials such as worksheets,” says Ms. Barone-Martin. “This pilot program allows us to see what types of practices we can add to our curriculum in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for our students.”
Play-based learning follows the model of hands-on museum learning. “This is how a child’s brain actually works,” Ms. Barone-Martin continues.
Through play, children are continuously engaged. They are physically active and socially involved. As they develop more complex social-emotional skills, they learn to manage their own behaviors and get along well with others. PreK children will be ready for Kindergarten, and Kindergartens will be prepared for the challenges of first grade and beyond.
PPS participates in Early Head Start programs for children from birth to age three. The District operates 87 early learning classrooms for children 3-5 years of age. They receive breakfast and lunch daily, and are eligible for health, mental health and social services as needed.
All Early Childhood Education programs at Pittsburgh Public Schools meet the Pennsylvania Early Learning standards of instruction.
Don’t wait any longer to register your child for PreK or Kindergarten. Visit www.pghschool.org/enroll for more information.
(Paid for by Pittsburgh Public Schools)