Erika J.

Erika's social skills and love for learning blossom at STAR 3 program

The Keystone STAR 3 program at Child Development Council's (CDC) Tunkhannock Center has helped my daughter, Erika, become a shining star in so many ways. I was told by her teacher, Miss Lacey at Tunkhannock CDC for PA Pre-K Counts, that Erika is more than ready for Kindergarten and that she is very smart. When Erika first started the program in 2011, she was very shy. Being an only child at home, she didn't have many opportunities to be sociable. Around new people, and even other children, she would hide behind me. A few weeks after she started school, I noticed a big difference in how she acted in public and when new people came to our home. The program has helped her a lot with her social skills. She has made a lot of friends and has learned how to share with others. She cares about her classmates. One day, Miss Lacey pulled me aside after class and told me how one of the boys had fallen and Erika was right there to help him up and asked if he was alright. I was so proud of Erika for doing that.

Every day she amazes me with what she has learned. She started singing a song on the way home from school about the days of the week and I was speechless. I couldn't believe that my three year old daughter knew the days of the week! One of my most favorable moments was when she came home from school and started writing her first name. It wasn't very legible, but Miss Lacey helped her and within a few weeks, she was writing her first name as well as the older children. Recently, she has even learned how to spell and write her middle and last name.

Every week they have a theme at school. Erika learns about mixing primary colors, hibernation, holidays, seasons and so much more. One thing she learns at school is responsibility. The teachers assign chores for the students in the class, like lights and setting the table for lunch. They have a chart on the wall with the schedule for the day so she is also learning about routines. She has learned to recognize numbers and the letters of the alphabet, yelling occasionally, "Hey! That letter is in my name!" When she started going to school, all she drew was scribbles. Lately, she has been drawing hearts, flowers, people, and houses. I can tell the teachers really go above and beyond with the children and really care about their education.

Besides learning, Erika has a lot of fun at school. She loves circle time, singing, the science table and the water table. She talks about school all the time. I am so proud of Erika and how far she has come along since the day she started. You would never believe that she was only three years old. She has learned a lot from this program and has become a super smart Shining Star!

--  Story by Tabatha J., Erika’s mother, Wyoming County


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