Despite the back-to-school buzz turning into routine, thinking about a new school year is still on many parents’ minds. Understanding the importance of early education, many parents make sure that their children’s preschool choice is well-researched. With reason, too — research shows that children who attend preschool are often better equipped with social and emotional skills for kindergarten compared to their non-attending peers.
The benefits for one child may be improved motor skills, while the benefits for another may include feeling more secure being away from parents and interacting with his or her peers. Regardless, an early start can help children experience more successes in a classroom environment, allowing them to have an easier transition into elementary school and helping them to focus on academics.
Dramatic play — acting out stories, observed events or imagined scenarios — is also an essential part of preschool. Having the opportunity to interact with other children helps to not only build social skills, but it also encourages early literacy skills. When signs, menus, food packaging or other items with text are used in play, children learn to associate how the written language is used in a real-life context.
Noting parents’ eagerness to give their children early educational opportunities and to learn about the various options available, Naperville Public Library will host its annual Preschool Fair from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at the 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive. This drop-in program is intended for parents and caregivers; children attending this program must be supervised by an adult.
More than 40 area preschools and related organizations will be at the fair with representatives to provide parents with information about making the right preschool choice. Attendees will be able to evaluate the various philosophies of local preschools, from academic and play-based to religious. Some preschools also offer a day-care option that may be useful for parents of children of multiple ages.
“Finding the right preschool for your child can be a difficult process. Every family and child has different needs,” said Karen Burke, children’s services early literacy librarian. “The preschool fair allows parents to come to one place to gather information about a variety of local preschools.”
Like the children who will be attending them, the preschools available at this program will span a range of characteristics — a one-stop shop for great educational opportunities, if you will.
For more information, contact children’s services at 630-961-4100, ext. 4961, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meghan Thome is a marketing associate at the Naperville Public Library.