Early Childhood Education may be the best way to break the cycle of poverty in West Virginia. The four-year-old kindergarten will help children improve vocabulary and social skills that they may not learn at home.
Children who have educated parents have many advantages over children who live in poverty. Educated parents read to their children and offer them opportunities, but the most subtle advantage is that educated adults have bigger vocabularies. If they talk to their children, their kids go to school recognizing and understanding more words. Such children have an edge in literacy learning that lasts throughout their schooling.
Another subtle difference in social class experience has to do with attitudes toward delayed gratification. Because people who live in deep poverty do not know where the next meal is coming from, they may enjoy any food or comfort they have at the moment.
They do not have the middle class luxury of being able to plan for their own future, and their children do not see why they should work now for a future reward.
According to Fact Finder almost 40 percent of the people in Randolph County live below the federal poverty level, and 18 percent have not finished high school. Early childhood education is a great way to give children a chance for a brighter future. West Virginia has made four-year-old kindergarten available to all children.
Davis & Elkins College is now offering a new program for future teachers who want certification in Early Childhood Education, and the program includes training for early identification of children with special needs.
Dr. Erin Brumbaugh offers her classes in the evening because she is committed to the idea that early childhood teachers will be able to get the training they need at D&E.
This is the type of local service that Kump Education Center supports wholeheartedly because it will make a difference for the next generation.