Free At Home Preschool Service Helps Hundreds in Delta
KREX News Room
DELTA, Colo.- Preschool is a very important learning step for children and a program in Delta is making it more accessible for all families.
Karen Long is a teacher and parent and strongly believes in early education.
"Always having those different kind of activities in your house that they're constantly learning ... kids these age, they're always learning about something," said Long.
That's why she, like hundreds of parents in Delta County, has taken advantage of the Backpack Box Program.
"[To] make sure we're hitting on those early developmental skills," said Lisa Mock, facilitator of the Backpack Box Program.
The program is designed to supplement children's current preschool or give parents the opportunity to home-preschool, all for free.
"It's just really important to have that extra time when you're actually sitting with them and playing with them because that's the key," said Long.
Each of the 600 backpack boxes are filled with different learning tools to give toddlers a head start.
"They've got a range of activities so they've got large motor skills ... they've got fine motor skills, so there's an art activity with a story and then there's a puzzle, so it's all the different ways to learn," said Long.
Parents can receive a different box each month and it seems to be helping.
In the last 20 years, officials have tracked the progress of the children in the program.
"We see a significant portion of the children who are scoring advanced or proficient, they were involved in the Backpack Program for one and two years," said Mock.
Still, program officials say there's no magic secret to the boxes.
"We know that parent involvement is the key to success in children's early learning, and we know that when they work, play, talk and read to their children, their success in school is greatly improved," said Mock.
The Delta preschool program will hold its 20th anniversary celebration on Oct. 27.
There will be a 5K run/walk to raise money for the program. It will be $5 per person or $10 per family. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and the race will start at 8 a.m.
There will also be an open house held at the Delta Family Center on 822 Grand Ave. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.