Mississippi Law Officers are Urging Legislators to Support a Bill for State Funded Pre-KBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 15 Mar 2013 05:21pm |
Research shows that children who have early learning opportunities are less likely to commit crimes later in life. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports Mississippi law enforcement officers and early childhood education advocates are urging lawmakers to support a state pre-k program.
Preschool teaches children how to share, listen and follow directions. But Nita Thompson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Head Start Association says preschool also places them in an environment to learn pre-requisite skills to adulthood.
"So they don't drop out of school as often, They tend to have the social skills and to be able to act appropriately within limits and boundaries. Learn to respect themselves, respect others and respect property. And generally have that internal locus of control that help them to make better decisions."
Supporters of early education say such programs are the first steps towards the kind of success that keeps children in school and out of the criminal justice system. Rodney McGilvary is the Assistant Police Chief of Biloxi.
"When you get these programs to where you get these mentors and these teachers to start talking to these young children at an early age about crime and education, the importance of that. That's the time to start talking them about things along that line."
A Michigan study shows that by age 27 people who were not part of an early education program were five times more likely to be chronic lawbreakers with five or more arrest. It's part of a statistic that McGilvary says his office has noticed for years.
"The education was lacking and it was lacking for many many years. And then the increase of sending them to prison and how the prisons are overflowing with career criminals and things like that"
Mississippi law enforcement and early education advocacy groups want lawmakers to support a bill that would provide $8 million dollars towards a state run pre-k program. Lawayne Childrey, MPBNews.
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