The Honorable Angie Reyes English is in her first full term as a member of the Hawthorne City Council. As a former preschool teacher and PTA President at Leuzinger High School, Councilwoman English is an ardent supporter of education in Hawthorne and LAUP is proud to feature her as a preschool supporter. We recently spoke to Councilwoman English at the South Bay Universal Child Development Center in Hawthorne. To learn more about Councilwoman English and other preschool supporters, please visit LAUP's website at www.laup.net.
Q. What kind of impact do you think preschool can have on the development of children?
A. There are many cognitive gains and positive impacts preschool can have on the development of children. Preschool introduces children to math, science and language, and gives students the opportunity to interact, learn how to share and cooperate with their instructors and peers. These early experiences have positive effects and become part of the child's persona that they carry throughout life. Due to children's early exposure in preschool to other youngsters, as well as to counting and speaking with correct grammar, research has shown these students have gains in achievement, graduation rates and a decrease in criminal activity.
Q. Why do you think families in your city should have access to preschool, and how will that benefit not only the individual students, but the community as well?
A. I work to support public safety, making sure that Hawthorne is a friendly city that is secure for all residents — including children and seniors. This includes ensuring that the community is not perceived as a group of individual families, but one big family. With this being said, preschools are a part of the "family," and the support and recognition of preschools are just as important as any other community priority. By being engaged in their children's preschool education, families will enable a bond to be established between parents and students at an early stage in the children's lives. It will strengthen the community, or the "family" as a whole.
Q. Why is it important for public officials, such as you, to step forward and advocate on behalf of preschool?
A. It is extremely important for public officials to support the importance and advancement of preschools, because they are the foundation of a child's educational and social development, as well as a gateway to their success in high school and college. I believe it is our obligation to shine a light on the facilities within our communities that work diligently to assist their young students to learn, communicate, and ultimately, advance beyond their economic situations.
Q. What would you say to other public officials to urge them to join the effort to support preschool?
A. Friends and colleagues, it is our duty to serve our communities, which includes supporting early education in our children's lives. I am passionate about working to ensure that students in Hawthorne are provided the best education to help them compete in the future job market. I hope you join me because multiple voices are better than one. The children are ultimately our future and need the educational (i.e. math, science, language) and social tools to successfully move forward to kindergarten and so forth. Without these tools, how can we expect for them to understand when we say: "share" or "never give up."