Earlier this fall, while searching for an affordable preschool program, Shannon Drake found what she was looking for thanks to PHLpreK.
The proud parent of two enrolled her 3-year-old son, Jackson, at the Children’s Playhouse Early Learning Center in South Philadelphia. According to his mom, Jackson just can’t enough of the program: “Last Sunday morning he asked me if he could go to school!”
Shannon is excited about how much her son is learning and attributes much of his growth and success to the “creative and fun” teachers at Children’s Playhouse.“His teacher understands how worried we are as parents,” she added. “She is compassionate enough to answer all my questions until I am comfortable.”
Shannon says she is constantly reminded that she made the right decision about enrolling her child in PHLpreK when Jackson comes home to tell her about all the things he’s been doing in class. Jackson is already learning words in American Sign Language as well as Spanish. He even gave a presentation to his class, shocking his mom about how fast he’s been learning.
“I love the teachers, and I love the person my son is blossoming into,” she said.
Shannon said PHLpreK also helps her family. She feels relieved that she can spend more time focusing on her youngest child while knowing that Jackson is doing great things at his program. “I can be a better mom to both kids and it’s nice that it’s not bankrupting my family,” she explained.
PHLpreK, the City of Philadelphia’s free, quality pre-K program, kicked off its third year with 2,000 students enrolled in 80+ centers throughout the city. Since then 250 additional seats have been added, and the program will grow to 5,500 seats by September 2022.