We hear it every day: “Send your kids to Pre-K programs!” “Pre-K is really important!” “Kids who don’t practice before Kinder don’t do well in school!” But why is that – and what exactly is it that makes a particular program good? Is it having the latest and greatest age-appropriate games? The most organically delicious foods? The best and most creative crafts in town?
Sure, having the best of everything is nice. But when it comes to kids around ages 4 and 5, what’s really important is who they spend time with and what they do. We know that children’s early relationships and experiences support later development, including their abilities to succeed in school and in life. Just like a foundation holds up a house, a young child’s initial interactions with the people and places that surround them lay a footing to support their entire being.
Even before kids get to elementary school, their brains and bodies embark on a lifetime of learning. Today’s experts in early education, like author Erika Christakis, recognize that opportunities to be creative, practice communication and develop social skills are more important than formal, academic education for young children. This thinking is supported by science, too. Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center references a recent twenty-year study from Duke and Penn State that found children who had better developed social skills in Kindergarten were more likely to graduate from college and hold full-time jobs.
College and full-time jobs are far in the future for today’s Pre-K kids. But any time is the right time to strengthen a foundation that will last a lifetime! One local organization that helps children get ready for school in all the right ways through summer camp and school year programs is Camp EDMO™. Their unique blend of STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, & Math) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) encourages kids’ natural inclination to be Curious, fortifies their Courage and expands their Kindness. EDMO™ helps campers build these three character traits with their own STEAM-inspired, maker-infused curriculum and highly trained instructors who cultivate adventure, invention and social interaction.
It starts with kids entering Pre-K and Kindergarten and they call it EDMO Jr. While they play, create and make friends, kids get used to routines and absorb SEL skills. Whether it’s learning to play collaboratively or express emotions, EDMO Jr. campers flex their growing mind, body and spirit. Then there’s room to grow beyond that!
You should experience it for yourself. Visit campedmo.org and choose from over 30 maker-infused science, technology and nature themed camps for kids entering Pre-K through 8th grade and beyond. Most of all because something else hugely important happens at camp – it’s called “fun.”