Tran, Ashlee


Ashlee Tran works for Preschool California, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to increase access to high-quality early learning opportunities for all of California’s children, starting with those who need it most.

School Matters: Why Schwarzenegger Should Sign Pre-Kindergarten Bill

By Ashlee Tran

When 4-year-old Emily Palomares first began the Preppy K class at Garfield Elementary School in Long Beach, she struggled to recite the alphabet and found it difficult to focus in class. Although she was eligible for kindergarten, her mother knew Emily would have a hard time keeping up with the other children, who were older and better prepared. Throughout her year in Preppy K, Emily worked with her teacher, Ms. Dixon, to learn the sounds of each letter, and by year’s end, she was reading at a mid-kindergarten level.

I’ve seen children like Emily developing the valuable foundation that prepares them to succeed in school in similar programs across the state. These transitional programs provide 4 year olds who would otherwise be enrolled in kindergarten the opportunity to develop the increased cognitive, social and emotional skills they need to thrive in kindergarten and beyond.