©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Another Push for State Pre-School Money
|There were a lot of different messages trying to be spread at the Illinois Capitol Wednesday, but one local official says she believes the money her organization and others like it are urging from the state, could be some of the most crucial money.
Stephanie Sikorski is a parent educator with the First Steps program in the Monmouth-Roseville School District. It deals with pre-school-age and younger kids, and stands to lose plenty of money if Governor Pat Quinn's budget cuts are realized.
Sikorski tells WGIL helping parents with their young children is a vital service the way she sees it -- at least, if the story of one Warren County mom is an indication.
"She's feeling overwhelmed," Sikorski said. "She has two kids now. (The family's) budget has been cut in half (due to a layoff). They're being hurt by the things happening in the economy. She feels overwhelmed. She's a little bit stressed out. Is she parenting well enough for her kids? Then, they're in the midst of potty training. Plus she's got a newborn. She needs support. She needs encouragement. And she's seeking it, and I'm happy to provide it to her this year. But my heart breaks for the families in our area who are needing services, who may be denied them next year."
The Galesburg School District's similar program, called Bright Futures, is also largely on the chopping block. it deals primarily with at-risk families and some first-time parents, and educators there say a lot of kids might not get a good chance at succeeding if the funding there is cut.
Both programs say student retention and high school drop-out rates and even crime rates are lower in areas with pre-kindergarten programs.
|04 21 10 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.