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Too Smart for Kindergarten?

August 23, 2010

RALEIGH, N.C. - As thousands of children across North Carolina start kindergarten this month and more children are attending pre-school every year, will some kids be too smart for kindergarten, already know too much and be bored?

That's not possible, says Stephanie Fanjul, director of the North Carolina Partnership for Children. Her organization runs Smart Start, which offers enrichment opportunities for parents and children.

"What we believe is that positive early education experiences can only help children succeed in school. That is what the science shows us and it's why Smart Start works to provide these opportunities."

Part of the early childhood education curriculum includes training on how to work with children at a variety of skill levels.

The bigger concern for experts like Dr. Richard Clifford of the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC Chapel Hill is the number of children who are retained every year. Statewide, about six percent of children are held back from advancing to the next grade, costing the state almost $165 million in 2007 alone for students in grades kindergarten through third.

"Rates that are reasonable rates are more in the one to two percent range than they are in the six or seven or higher percent range."

Experts say the best way to prepare a child for school is to engage in activities that make learning a fun family activity.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC