What's this? A preschool attached to every regular school?

If your school (public or private) doesn't now operate a preschool, then start one. If every single pupil in your school does not spend a portion of one day each week helping out at your preschool, then rearrange the school schedule to have this take place.

If every parent with a child in the school doesn't contribute time or money or both to the preschool, then indicate this is an obligation which comes from enrolling their child (or children) in the school.

If every single teacher and administrator in your school does not spend a portion of one day each week helping out in the preschool, then write this into the current contract and organize the school week so it can take place.

Probably most preschools will need to keep much longer hours than the regular school, in order to serve working parents and guardians who need such a service.

And what better way to draw a community together than to share love, concern, and training for the little ones who need and want this care?

Many schools will not need to build a separate preschool building, but will find space in a present school -- one which has been cut down to more managable size deliberately, or one which no longer has as large an enrollment as in the past.

One school we know has a preschool down one hall. At the end of the hall are two classrooms. One of the teachers thinks children shouldn't start schoolwork before Grade 1 and insists on filling the room with play and garden activities.

The other preschool teacher is of a different persuasion, and has put one plant on her desk, no animals, few toys, but uses dozens of learning materials of every sort.

Parents choose which preschool environment they want for their child; the regular scholars choose which room they prefer to do volunteer work in.

And while no quotas are set, generally about half the preschool-age children are enrolled in each room, and generally the older scholars who had been placed in one room choose to volunteer in the other, hence achieving a 50-50 allocation of teacher aides.

It may take a while before the community believes you have the preschool program it wants, but the time to start is now, and just think, with volunteers from parents, faculty, staff, and pupils, you've got all the expe rt help you need.

Next week: Pluralism is the goal

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