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The mission of King's Daughters Day Home is to provide programs that stimulate cognitive and physical development and prepare children for success in school. The Day Home supports children in need by offering educational programs for disadvantaged children that are equivalent to those that more advantaged children receive. All fees are set on a sliding scale, based on income, so that the cost is not prohibitive for even the lowest income families. For every $1 invested in quality preschool programs, economists estimate a savings of at least $3 and as much as $17 on services including special education, behavior modification and juvenile justice. In Tennessee, 38,000 to 40,000 four-year-olds are at-risk due to low family income. Research shows that low socio-economic status has more impact on children's cognitive scores than any other factor, including race, ethnicity, home reading or family education.
King's Daughters Day Home has provided exemplary preschool programs for children from low socio-economic families for over forty years. Four child-friendly classrooms, a library, and playground are included in the facility. Individualized programs are designed for each child based on his or her developmental needs, and their progress in meeting previously determined goals is then monitored and reported. Our Read To Succeed program specifically targets children at risk for school failure due to family income, parents' education, developmental disability, or because English is a new language for the family. Family literacy workshops and a family lending library involve the child's family in teaching pre-reading skills such as knowing at least 12 letters, understanding that letters make words and that words convey meaning, knowing the meaning of and using lots of different words, identifying beginning sounds and rhyming sounds, and knowing such print conventions as reading left to right from the top to the bottom of the page.
One third of the children enrolled at King's Daughters Day Home are Caucasian, one-third are Hispanic and one-third are African American. Gender is fairly equal between male and female, and all the children are between the ages of two and one-half and five. Maximum enrollment at King's Daughters is fifty-seven and the Day Home is full with a waiting list. Fifty-four of the fifty-seven children enrolled qualify for free or reduced lunches.
- Patricia McPherson
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