A lifetime of Achievement starts in pre-K

The months of May and June are graduation season in many areas of the country. Graduations are important milestones in a young person’s life, helping them to recognize what they have learned and achieved, and encouraging them that they are ready for a new challenge.  


What do we mean by achievement?  


Achievement is more than just being the best at something or doing better than others. According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, achievement motivation is “the desire to overcome obstacles and master difficult challenges.” They also say there’s a “significant relationship between high achievement motivation and early independence in childhood,” and a strong link “between high achievement motivation and actual achievement in later life.”  


How can we give children the foundation they need for a lifetime of achievement? You may not be surprised to learn that it starts in pre-K! A high-quality pre-K environment encourages children to try new things, overcome obstacles, and work independently.   


Research about early education 


In a study led by an MIT economist, researchers found that children who attended preschool were more likely to graduate from high school, take the SAT, and attend college. The study found that preschool-educated students were 5.9% more likely to attend four-year colleges. 


Research from CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, has also shown that early childhood education is an essential step to accessing opportunities later in life – including improved high school graduation rates, higher earnings as adults, and better short- and long-term health outcomes.  


Finally, this summary of early childhood research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tells us that high-quality early childhood programs can improve physical and mental health outcomes, increase earning potential, and encourage educational attainment. 


What parents tell us 


What does this research tell us? High-quality pre-K is one way that you can set children on a path to success later in life. And it’s not just researchers that tell us this. Parents also notice positive changes in their children after participating in pre-K. “My son has advanced his vocabulary,” one MECK Pre-K parent told us. “I love that he comes home and is excited to tell me all the new things he has learned.” Another caregiver told us, “The teachers at Meck Pre-K have prepared Chelsea with fundamentals to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.”  


Teachers agree that pre-K is a foundation for a lifetime of achievement. One MECK Pre-K teacher told us how much she appreciated the MECK Pre-K experience. “Teachers were encouraged to model empathy, create curiosity, and model problem solving, collaboration, and many other life skills that children can take with them moving forward in their lives,” she said. 


About MECK Pre-K  


MECK Pre-K uses The Creative Curriculum®, which builds children’s confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills through hands-on, project-based investigations. Teachers promote discovery and inquiry with opportunities for children to think critically and develop skills with hands-on investigations of relevant and interesting topics in the classroom. Teachers also work with parents to reinforce classroom learning with family-friendly activities designed for home. 


MECK Pre-K is high quality pre-K education open to all four-year-old children in Mecklenburg County at no cost to families. Classrooms are located in licensed childcare centers and taught by licensed teachers and highly qualified assistant teachers. You can apply online at MeckPreK.org. If you have a child who is not old enough for pre-K this year, you can sign up for our email list and be notified when they’re eligible for MECK Pre-K. Simply go to MECKPrek.org/future-meck-pre-k-students and select your child’s age group.