School Readiness for Children and Parents

PIC PA PreK Counts Students learn about colors and clothing

PIC PA PreK Counts Students learn about colors and clothing

In January, Burchfield students were learning about clothes and for two weeks, students wore a specific color each day.   On January 12 they wore black and yellow to support the Steelers!  This day turned out to be their favorite color day of all!

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Head Start / Early Head Start FAQs The Private Industry Council discusses frequently asked questions for Head Start and Early Head Start students. Private Industry Council operates the Head Start / Early Head Start program for Beaver and Fayette Counties in the...

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My original intent for this article was to provide parents with information on how to prepare their preschool children for school.  You know, practices like establish routines, talk with your children about what the day will look like, and validate their feelings and provide reassurance and the importance of teaching children how to be a good person.

As a native of Pittsburgh, I grew up hearing the wise Mr. Rogers impart his wisdom on how children learn, how to be a good neighbor and how to be a good person.  So naturally I visited the Fred Rogers Institute website (formerly the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media).  The first thing that caught my attention was Fred Roger’s Six Basic Necessities of Learning.  These six necessities are quite simple but extremely important.  They are:

  • A sense of self-worth
  • A sense of trust
  • Curiosity
  • The capacity to look and listen carefully
  • The capacity to play
  • Times of solitude

Immediately I began to reflect on my own experiencing raising a child and began to ask myself if I, as my child’s first and primary teacher, promote and provide these basic necessities of learning with my young son. Did I make him feel valued and protected? Did I listen intently to his stories and ask questions? Did I ensure there were caring adults around him he could count on for support and encouragement? Did I foster his curiosity and encourage him to explore new things while keeping him safe? Did I slow down when we were in a hurry to allow him to appreciate new things and ask questions? Did I provide opportunities to play, create, find solutions? Did I allow quite time? Did I provide him opportunities to help?

Although I feel confident I did many of the things above, I can’t help but wonder if I could have or should have done more to promote school readiness and success not only when he started pre-school or kindergarten, but throughout his entire school career.

For more information on Mr. Roger’s Six Basic Necessities of Learning go to

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