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AFES should move forward with preschool concept

Local families would benefit from another option for early learning

The value of preschool can be summed up in one statistic found in Fort Dodge Community School District assessments from the current academic year.

Those assessments revealed that kindergarteners who did not attend preschool performed on average about 18 percent lower than their classmates who did attend preschool.

Here’s another stark figure: it is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of minority youth do not go to preschool

It is alarming that so much learning is lost at such a young age. It is clear that missing preschool could have lifelong implications.

The solution seems obvious – get the little ones into preschool.

Fort Dodge just might have another preschool option on the horizon. Athletics for Education and Success is now exploring the possibility of setting up such an educational program.

AFES has the space for a potential preschool at the former Hillcrest Elementary School that it bought in 2010. A licensed daycare is already operated by AFES there.

Right now, Charles Clayton, the executive director of AFES, is hoping to find out if there is community support for a new preschool.

We believe families in Fort Dodge would benefit from having another preschool option. There is nothing wrong with the preschool program operated by the school district or any of the local privately run preschools. Another option, however, would mean more chances to get more children some crucial early learning.

We are confident that Clayton and his team at AFES would develop a first class preschool.

We hope they move forward with this concept.

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