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An Interesting Progressive Cause

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  • Brooks, AB
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    I have been taking my three-year old to an organized play-time group. He and about 10 other kids engage in activities as finger painting, slime making, and block stacking. The group is led by an adult coordinator. The session lasts about a half hour, then the kids are turned loose into a well stocked playroom. I usually stay until my son tires of the playroom.

    The coordinators are amazing. They are constantly instilling civil values into these children. My best example is the wiggle cars, which are very popular with the kids. There are only two cars; there are eight or more kids. The kids have to learn how to share and be fair. The coordinators work wisely and calmly to get the kids to get the most of their limited number of wiggle cars. I think the low number of cars is deliberate to put the kids in this position.

    There is no charge for these sessions. I'm not sure where the funding comes from, but if one discounts the cost of the facility (which is the old hospital converted into usage of a myriad of social programs), the cost of this program is really not that expensive.

    I live in a community of about 25,000 people. The same 20 kids are attending these sessions, but maybe just 10 at a time. This program doesn't directly reach the broad community, hence there is the argument that program has little value--even if the costs are low.

    In my short time with the program, I already see a change in my son in how he interacts with other kids. I can see he is going to a "social" leader with the lessons learned here. When he and the other kids reach kindergarten or Grade 1, they are going to be the peer example of how to behave in a classroom. This will help the teacher with her classroom management AND even the kids that didn't go to the play-time group will get the benefit of this training. A better run classroom means a better education.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Since you are caring enough to show interest and take your child there the other kids are probably benefiting more from interacting with your son than from the program.
  • Brooks, AB
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Since you are caring enough to show interest and take your child there the other kids are probably benefiting more from interacting with your son than from the program.

    Probably. But we still need the meeting place for them to gather and socialize constructively. The play group is more constructive than the kids hanging around the neighborhood--and trying to figure out things on their own.

    Kind of hard to have constructive play groups with families working ad-hoc----and questionable parenting skills.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dave, yes the "education" in this country needs a lot of the things you mentioned. However since this country runs on "money" only few can really participate. Education here costs lots of money; but that does not mean you get an "quality" education. It totally depends on where you live, what they teach you. Over in Europe education is "free" as well you can select the schools you want. There is likely also more interface with the parents as well on how the society works. I've got the feeling that inmost "red" states, that they are more busy teaching on how to make "money" then having lessons in society interface or social things, like "manners".
  • Brooks, AB
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    Dutch: Education is expensive, regardless of where in the western world one goes. It is a collective choice we make as a society.

    I have a little finance training. Financially speaking, it is almost folly to make a public investment into a six year old, continue making that investment for the next 12 years, and then start getting a small return (taxes) on that investment. And since many middle class people really do not pay a great deal of taxes, it's hard to see the financial logic of educating middle class kids. Lower class kids are even a worse return (financially speaking).

    As for red and blue states, I would beg to state that Kansas and Montana are far from homogeneous politically. There are a lot of D supporters in those states. Maybe not enough to win elections, but still enough to sway public policy from going too far to the right.