Early childhood education provides the building blocks for long-term success. Students who have the opportunity for play-based learning score better on cognitive flexibility, self-control, and working memory.

This contributes to the success of a child’s future education. It also provides the opportunity for developing social skills. For example, waiting their turn, sharing, and communication skills.

There are many studies about the importance of early learning. These studies suggest children in preschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue higher learning. They will have more successful relationships and better communication skills. Children in Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs tend to have decreased risk of developmental delays and improved cognitive skills. The positive impacts of early learning go far beyond the classroom.

The goal of Pre-K is to prepare the student for kindergarten, future learning, and allow development of socialization skills. Exploring their surroundings in a safe and nurturing environment builds that foundation. Luckily, Florida offers free VPK for four and five-year olds old children. The program provides funding for qualified teachers and the curriculum.

Teaching through Play and Socialization

I taught preschool children professionally for 18 years in Seminole County. In addition, I developed programming for children, including implementing the Pre-K program for three and four-year olds. The programs included tumbling, art, beginning Spanish, music, dance, and cheerleading. These programs flourished and oftentimes had wait lists.

My work in Seminole schools as both a classroom volunteer, holding multiple PTA positions, chairing the School Advisory Council, and serving on the county school zoning committee provided me with great and valuable insight into the successes and challenges of our school district. I regularly attend school board meetings, and open meetings, as well as the SCPS Community Leadership Council.

With my education experience, and a commitment to listening to parents and kids, I have the tools necessary to be an effective advocate for the families of Seminole County.

Florida History/Background

Former Governor Jeb Bush signed into law, a free, Voluntary Pre-K program to Florida families on January 2, 2005. The program proved itself successful in preparing our students for future learning. Seminole county serves almost 100 students at their Early Learning center with a focus on early STEM education. Since its beginning, the program has been extremely successful.

Commitment to Every Student, Every Age

We must have leaders on the School Board who understand the importance of the needs of our children and those who educate them. As a mother of four children, I recognize that developmental milestones don’t happen for each child at the same time or rate. We must recognize a variety of learning styles and approach the students at their pace.

If elected, I will fight for all students in our county, as if they were my own. No matter their background or financial ability, our community needs effective advocates who will fight for them. I understand the responsibility that comes with this full-time commitment.

About Kristine Kraus

Kristine Kraus is an active volunteer in Seminole County schools and a mother of four Seminole County Public School graduates. Kristine is dedicated to school safety, vocational education and training options for students, and supporting Seminole County teachers and staff. Vote for Kristine’s today to put a Mom and dedicated leader on the School Board.

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