The PreKCounts class of the Jim Thorpe Area School District at the L.B. Morris Elementary School received a visit from Senator David Argall on Monday afternoon much to the delight of the students in the program.
While the Senator enjoyed his visit with them, there was also a more a serious reason for his stopover there in the school district of which he represents a large portion.
He was asked to join them to see the PreKCounts program in action, to learn more about it, and see what the program is doing and accomplishing.
LCCC representative Evalynn Kuehner, Community Engagement Coordinator for Carbon County, noted that LCCC has gotten the Community Engagement Grant in Carbon County to promote programs such as PreKCounts, Head Start, and others.
She also noted that the PreKCounts program, which is for three and four year old children, is funded by the State of Pennsylvania and partnerships with the community and this PreKCounts program is through the Jim Thorpe Area School District.
They have invited representatives and senators to come and see what the program is accomplishing and to show that investment in early care and education is important in the long run in that it saves so much money in remedial education later by addressing any of a child's developmental problems early on.
The hope is to garner their support by showing them "in person" the outcomes that they are getting from such early childhood education and early care programs.
She was honored to have Senator Argall come visit with the children and looked forward to everyone having a fun day during his visit with them.
To the delight of the young students, Senator Argall read the story "Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight?" to them.
The kids were thoroughly involved, entertained, and educated by the story about Santa's search for just the right animals to pull his sled on Christmas day as they answered questions and offered their own comments about the story.
Before leaving, the students presented Senator Argall with a gift of a JTASD tote bag and in unison gave him a great big "Thank You".
When asked later if he thought that having children that age go to school was a worthwhile thing, the Senator responded "absolutely" in that the sooner our children are exposed to each other and their ideas, there is so much to learn and he believes that the statistics will show that a program like PreKCounts really can get kids off to a good start.
After his visit, Senator Argall said that he thinks it's important in his job, where he represents a quarter of a million people from Camelback Mountain all the way to Pine Grove, not just to sit behind a desk but to get out and talk to people.
He went on to say that the three and four year olds that he talked today are our future and it was a lot of fun to meet with them and he was very impressed with the students and their open involvement during his visit to their classroom with them.