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EarlystART teacher shares pre-schoolers' growth as they transition to Kindergarten

Early start graduates
Posted at 7:21 AM, May 24, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Little learners inside the EarlystART's purple classroom started their day with a number of different activities: teeth brushing, writing, and creating with Play-Doh, just to name a few.

"To see a child smile, to see him grow, to see him feel like he's loved and nurtured, that's my number one goal for them," said lead teacher Bonita Conley, who is known as Ms. Bonnie inside the classroom walls.

While the students in her classroom are only 2 and 3 years old, pre-K students at EarlystART wrapped up their last day this week before they get ready for Kindergarten in the Fall.

"We are truly building the foundation here," EarlystART CEO, June McDaniel said. "And it's not only for kindergarten readiness, but the social and emotional learning skills that they're getting from our educators. They're vast and they're going to go well beyond the kindergarten years."

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It's educators who are helping with students' growth, including Ms. Arlene, Ms. Andrea and Ms. Bonnie, who've known the preschoolers since they were infants.

"Just to watch them grow is amazing and to learn about the world around them, to make those connections with the world around them," Conley said.

It's building that foundation early on in her classroom.

"The first three years of life are the critical years," Conley said. "That's when that brain is developing and then by the time the child reaches to age 5, his brain is already 90% of adult knowledge."

It's that knowledge these young learners will take with them, from start to finish.

"Whatever we attain in the ground floor, the foundation, it'll affect us later in life," Conley said. "So if they don't get that during this foundation time, then it's cause some negative things in their life."

These little learners are ready to take a big step, thanks to a solid foundation.

"You can truly achieve whatever you want to achieve if you put your mind to it," McDaniel said.

"We want to be all about positivity with children and continue to allow them to grow and be all that they can be," Conley said.

Forty-one EarlystART preschoolers walked across the stage for their "Transition to Kindergarten" ceremony.