Research shows children who attend high-quality early preschool benefit academically and learn key life skills of cooperation, trust, and self-control. These gains benefit kids into adulthood. They’re more likely to complete high school and college, avoid mental health problems and crime, become stable parents, and contribute as community members.

As a social worker, I worked with youth struggling to make their way after troubled childhoods, entering kindergarten already far behind. Succeeding in school was a big hurdle for many. Perhaps outcomes for these youth might have improved if they’d attended a quality preschool program as young children.

Most families in Pima County can’t afford high-quality preschool. I hope Pima County funds a preschool scholarship program, so more children can have access to the best preparation for long-term school success. Investing in our kids is actually an investment in our community.

Susie Bergesen

Midtown

Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.

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