Diane Addison has seen it all in the Parents as Teachers program she oversees in Mark Twain‘s hometown. Her program brings parent education services to all kinds of families, from the time they find out they’re going to have a baby until their child enters kindergarten.
In this state, where free Parents as Teachers services are offered to all residents through their school districts, about half of all age-eligible families take advantage of it. In Addison’s area, participation is closer to 75%. So she was uniquely qualified to tell the U.S. Senate earlier this week how families benefit from early childhood programs and preschool.
She was invited to share her insights by Senators Kit Bond and Hillary Rodham Clinton, co-sponsors of the Ready to Learn Act designed to provide funding to states to provide voluntary pre-K programs. Many states already have pre-K programs established; this bill would have provided support for those that do not.
The bill didn’t pass.