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There is nothing a school district, and a village, can do to bolster the success of its students through all the years of their schooling that is more vital than starting early. Our youngest children – ages 2 and 3 and 4 – are ready to succeed and thrive if given the best opportunity.

Parents and families are clearly the front line of providing the nurturing and the stimulation that will launch a child into school and life success. But all children, and especially children who might not have the best learning circumstances, benefit from the socialization that a great preschool setting provides.

Now, in another example of its progressive approach, Forest Park’s District 91 schools are readying a universal preschool option for all 3 and 4-year-old children in Forest Park. The district is planning now to add six new half-day classes for those young children starting this fall. As has become typical, the district has been working on this matter for some time, its staff has been considering various curriculum options and the administration has been working the logistics and the financing to make sure this is a viable program for families and affordable for taxpayers.

Another aspect of this plan which we much admire is the partnership with the Park District of Forest Park that will bring these youngsters to the parks each Friday for physical activities and craft opportunities. Forest Park works best when its various government bodies find ways to collaborate and this is dandy example.

This is another example of a school board and administration that are aiming high and seeking opportunities to substantively improve our schools. And it makes the upcoming and contested school board election all the more important.