(Memphis) Pre-K and other early childhood programs here in Memphis are getting a boost thanks to President Barack Obama's State of the Union goal to improve quality and expand access to preschool.
No one was more excited about than the people at Porter-Leath Children's Center in North Memphis which is a safety net for at-risk children and families: providing early childhood programs and visiting young pregnant teens at home.
Sean Lee, President of Porter-Leath, says the President's Pre-K plan means the non-profit can improve services, "We've been saying for a long time that it's not just spending in early childhood, it's investment. Every dollar that's spent on early childhood returns a seven dollar investment."
Lee says he welcomes the benefits Obama's plan would bring, "There would be more pre-K for 4-year-olds. It would become universal for all low-income and middle-income families. You would see more investment in home visiting."
He says the government can't simply write a check and eliminate poverty, it takes community support.
Staff members at Porter-Leath believe every child deserves an education and they work toward that goal, offering an unconditional love the children thrive on.
Tawanda Randolph is Site Manager for Porter-Leath's Early Head Start, overseeing daily operations involving infants and children, "I've learned a new word since I've been with Porter-Leath and that's "occupassion." Working with children is something that gives me a great joy."