Sixty-seven percent of 4th graders in the U.S. read below the national reading proficiency standard. Some educators feel that the problem starts much earlier, with kindergartners entering school without basic social and learning skills.
Matt Lauer of the Today show visits a school in Boston that’s trying to find a solution early. The Eliot school enrolls kindergartners at the age of four, rather than five. This younger class is called Kindergarten One, or K1, other schools call similar programs “pre-K.” Unlike a nursery school or daycare center, the kindergarten one teachers at the Eliot school must have their master’s degree in education.
The school is sensitive to the maturity of their younger K1 students, and has created a curriculum that’s not only instructive but also fun. The school’s principal encourages parents to enroll students even if they don’t seem emotionally ready, because those are the students who will benefit the most in a year when it’s time to start kindergarten. Studies have shown that students who attend pre-kindergarten programs are 35 percent less likely to be held back in kindergarten, pass the literacy rate at 24 percent higher rate and are 30 percent less likely to repeat a grade later.
This story is part of NBC’s Education Nation. Watch Matt Lauer go back to kindergarten:
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