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Sacramento County Parents Learning Benefits of Preschool

Series of Forums Provides Parents With Information

Panel discussion

On November 15, parents, educators and community leaders gathered at the Sam Pannell Community Center in Sacramento to learn about the educational benefits of preschool.

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), in partnership with First 5 Sacramento and the City of Sacramento, hosted the third in a series of community forums designed to help parents make informed decisions about preschool options for their children.

At the forums, a panel of experts discusses the importance of pre-kindergarten and how cost-effective preschool can help enhance a community.

"Preschool is where it's at, where a child has his first educational experience of his life," said Amy Ronsheimer, a preschool teacher at Bowling Green Charter School in the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD).

Ronsheimer addressed the crowd as a member of the Community Voices Panel, sharing stories on the benefits of preschool.

Joanne Nicholas, a kindergarten teacher at John Cabrillo Elementary School (SCUSD), told the crowd that a quality preschool education helps lay a solid foundation for students and helps them develop strong social and learning skills.

"Quality preschool is just number one on my list!" Nicholas said.

At this series of forums, parents are able to receive information about quality preschool programs and learn about the wealth of free resource materials that are available to them. Parents are also able to share their own stories about their preschool experiences.

Toni Allen, the mother of a preschool-age child, beamed when she told the gathering during the Community Voices Panel that, thanks to preschool, her son is thriving in the classroom.

"His teacher said he's right on schedule," Allen said. "He really loves to learn."

The next preschool forum is scheduled for Monday, December 12, 2005 (7–8:30 p.m.) at the Trigg Education Center, 9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road in Elk Grove. Download a flyer about the 12/12 forum.

Additional forums are planned. Dates and information are available on the Preschool Sacramento County website or by calling (916) 228-3923. Information about First 5 Sacramento is available by calling (916) 876-5865.

Superintendent speaking to audience
Harold Fong addressing audience