Preschool promise

Riche Garza

Local representatives, law enforcement officials and school board members toured three Medford-area programs that serve young children.

The purpose was to share the importance of early education and the long term outcomes from a solid educational foundation.

“At Jackson Elementary we have preschool promise funds and we’re able to house 15 kiddos with the Learning Loft Kid Time and give them an education for the entire year - full day preschool,” said Marisa Poling, Principal at Jackson Elementary.

Kid Time is a Medford-based preschool program that runs full day classes, all year long and provides a place for parents to take their children while they work.

“The learning loft and Medford Schools have a memorandum of understanding and we decided that we would develop a community forum,” Poling said.

The community forum took place on the evening of January 9, 2018 in which parents and children involved in the programs praised its success.

According to Principal Poling many parents struggle to find and secure affordable childcare in Medford but through the grants provided by the preschool promise program. Additionally the skills young children learn at preschool programs are transferable life skills which allow them to succeed later in school and in life.

The Oregon state legislator will be considering more funding for preschools. This is partly motivated by the low rate of preschool attendance, it is estimated that 75% of children live Jackson County without any form of preschool education.

“What we have found by having a preschool in our elementary school is that they [children] are able access and practice in an educational setting early on and we’re also able to help and provide support to any student that may need it,” Poling said.

Poling said that with preschool programs they have been able to identify early signs of social and emotional development needs and in those cases early detection and treatment can make a world of difference.

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