Carthage— Jefferson County is the home for the 10th Mountain Division with Fort Drum consisting of 107,265 acres and nearly 80,000 troops annually. Many soldiers live off post due to not enough housing on post or some prefer to live in the Watertown and Carthage areas.
With the high numbers of military families moving in and out of Jefferson County area at various times of the year, parents are often forced to decide to home school so that education is not interrupted. Some parents decide to wait- depending upon whether or not the child missed most of the year having moved to a new area.
Universal pre-k, one program in Carthage is overbooked with applicants every year. With only 105 slots available, they received close to 200 applications this year. There are 70 kids on the waiting list to get in the program. Some may not think that pre-k is all that important. But, researches found in a Chicago based study found some fascinating results regarding children that attend pre-k.
Researchers followed 900 low-income children from childhood until adult- roughly 25 years of age. They found that the children that went to preschool, as adults were less likely do drugs, had fewer arrests, and obtained better jobs. The researchers found that children that went to preschool for at least 1 or 2 years, had a “leg up in the world.”
A new study done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count reported that only 53% of United States kids between the ages of 3-4 attend preschool from 2008-2010. What they also found was that Asian American children had the highest participation rate with more than half attending preschool. Caucasian and African American children scored around 50% non-participation rate and Latino children scored the lowest with 63% of Latino children did not attend preschool.
ABC50 interviewed President and Founder of Benchmark Family Services, Margueerite K. Feistel, which handles the Universal pre-k program. Ms. Feistel explained the lack of Government funding is making it difficult for the pre-k program to service the needs of all 70 pre-k children on their waiting list.