Early childhood education in San Marcos is getting a helping hand as AVANCE seeks to establish itself in the community.
AVANCE, Spanish for “to advance or “to progress”, was established in 1973. Their mission is, “Unlocking America’s potential by strengthening families in at risk communities through effective parenting education and support programs.” The program will work with children about in preschool and kindergarten and their parents as well.
Dr. Michelle Pope, a Presidential Fellow at Texas State University currently working on community early childhood to college access education initiatives, spoke of the issues we face locally.
“We have a lot of challenges,” said Pope who cited a statistic that over 40% of people in San Marcos over age 25 lack a high school degree.
AVANCE in San Marcos was the idea of the soon to be renamed P16 council, which looks at local educational initiatives from preschool to college entrance. AVANCE is also looking to fill 4 positions locally.
The site for AVANCE is to be determined but they are looking at holding weekly sessions, providing literacy materials, home visitation and toy making workshops.
Parents are a vital part of the AVANCE program. “It looks at the idea of parent as first teacher,” said Pope. “I think it’s going to be a great program for a lot of our families”
More information can be found at AVANCE’s Austin website at www.avance-austin.org.
By SEAN WARDWEL