Do we need Pre-K? - Part I - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Do we need Pre-K? - Part I

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

From the first minute of life, a child is in the learning business.

Research shows, the first three years of life is when the human brain develops up to 80 percent of its adult size.

Dr. Henry Herrod says by time kid born have 100 billion neurons or brain cells.

Now a leader at the Urban Child Institute, Dr. Herrod wants the first toy for every child to be a word, invisible blocks, built with letters.

What happens in those early days and months of life can impact a child for the rest of their life.

No one read to 61 year old Beverly Fletcher when she was a child. She says no bedtime stories, no talk from parents during the day. She just recently learned to read.

Dr. Herrod notes, the importance of early talk from parents to newborn children, and the problems that can arise in its absence. "It can have an enormously negative impact on their life, that's the reason so important to try instilling things like love for language, self-confidence, and self-control in earliest months and years of life."

That's exactly what the parents of 8-yr old Trinity Cannon did.

A second grader at St. Georges Independent School, she reads on a 5th grade level.

Her Memphis Campus School leader says it's not just good teachers at St. Georges, the key was what trinity's parents did when she was between 3 and 5 years old that accounts for her early success.

Ms. Fletcher recalls her emotional response after she read her first book later in life. "I just cried and cried. I was so happy. I called my husband, I said, ‘I read my first book.'"

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