EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Parents, school starts back on Monday and pre-k language programs are now available for children as young as 3 and 4 years old. 

The Socorro Independent School District is providing all the tools your child is going to need during pre-k. If your child is behind on certain subjects this is the perfect opportunity because they’re giving the younger generation hands-on learning to succeed in their academic journey. 

The sooner children are exposed to kindergarten and pre-k, the better they will do in school, says Lucia Borrego, the Chief Academic Officer for Socorro ISD. 

SISD is now offering pre-k 3 and pre-k 4, to qualify for the pre-k 3 program, there are 11 criteria’s your three year old needs to meet but there are three that are deemed most important and those are language, if English is their second language, income, and whether their family is military.  

As for the pre-k 4 program, every 4 year old in the region qualifies and out of all curriculum, social, emotional and language development is offered in early childhood programs.

“There’s something that is called Child Find where you can go and the teacher is very aware of it and the school principal is very aware of Child Find and that is an opportunity for parents to talk to professionals and this where we are and then we guide them and there might be some testing that needs to take place and then we will start the process, maybe they need speech therapy, maybe it is receptive or expressive delay,” Borrego said.  

As for the reason why SISD has criteria for three year old’s – officials share, it’s because research shows that kids who come from low socio-economic backgrounds are not exposed as much to reading and writing but language plays a role in learning as well. 

Borrego encourages parents to ask questions regarding your child’s education to teachers, the principal or even coming here to Socorro ISD because that’s what they’re here for. 

Officials add that when another language is spoken at home, it can be challenging for the child, but it is a very normal speech delay. 

For instance, if your child is bilingual, Socorro also offers a dual language program where they start at a 90 – 10 model. 

Borrego says students are not just bilingual but biliterate because they are teaching them how to read and write in both languages.

“90 percent in their native language and 10 percent in the other language. And then when they go to kindergarten, then it goes to 50- 50. 50 percent all in English and 50 percent all in Spanish, which is very interesting. And the research shows this, and we saw it this last year, our first cohort of dual language kids took their third grade star test, they out-performed their counterparts. They were just all English or all Spanish.” 

Research shows by learning two languages, it opens the brain to more learning. 

Adding that, starting your child’s formal education as young as 3 years old is the best choice because they are at a time when they want to be independent. It will also help them socialize and be successful in whatever they pursue when going to school.  

Borrego’s advice to parents is not to be in a hurry when it comes to your child’s learning and speaking but to let the professionals help and guide because many times it can be a language barrier or a developmental problem. 

If you’re ready to sign up your child at SISD Early Childhood Education or to learn more click here

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