PRE-K for PA – Behind Early Childhood Education Initiatives

One of the movements that seems to be having significant impact on education is to establish quality pre-kindergarten programs. We recognize this occurs for three basic reasons: a) many children in this country are not ready for school socially, emotionally or academically; b) so much occurs developmentally in early childhood, and c) some children need additional support in order to be able to be successful in school.

The Pre-K for PA Movement for Child Development

Some children need help socially and emotionally before entering school.

Some children need help socially and emotionally before entering school.

We have found that when children who are delayed in learning capacity enter school they struggle to keep up with other students. Then because of their struggles, they fall into a significant level of inadequacy that may continue to follow them throughout their entire school career.

The PRE-K for PA movement shows a great deal of promise, and in some ways, is an effective brain-based intervention for early childhood.

The promise of a strong Pre-K presence has huge impact on many aspects of K-12 school years.  I am attaching a link to a report on the varied aspects of this potential and am proud that the State of PA. is focusing so much energy and effort on this very important phase in a child’s development and nurture.   Click here for the report.

Of course there is so much more to achieve in this area. 

Lakeside is attempting to respond to the needs of our early childhood centers in the Greater Philadelphia region, along with the support and partnership of United Way of Southeastern PA and Southern New Jersey.  We have provided training and support for hundreds of ECE centers that are striving to give our children a better chance to succeed in their K-12 school experience.  This is a movement that we are proud to be a part of that will give hope and help for our children in the academic success.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network


Teaching Students About Their Brains

One of the keys to establishing a brain-based classroom is to help students understand how their brains actually function. As educators, we seem to do pretty well at telling them what they need to know and sometimes even how they should try to learn the information.  However, when students understand how their brains work, they are empowered to take charge of their learning, understanding and ability to retain information.

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Inspiring Non-Profit Leaders

I want to take a one-time break to acknowledge and reflect on two individuals who have had tremendous impact at Lakeside Educational Network.

Honoring unsung leaders: John Bell and Florence Greenwood

Lakeside School, Horsham, PA

Lakeside thanks John Bell and Floppi Greenwood for years of dedicated service to our Board of Directors

One of the most critical challenges in non-profit organizations is finding and retaining reliable and long-standing members for the Board of Directors, particularly leaders who both understand and support the organization’s mission.

As in most non-profits there have been many years of struggles as we have developed the programs of Lakeside Educational Network.  In my over 29 years there have been amazing highs and almost frightening lows.  Through it all I have had the privilege of working with leaders of quality character on our Board of Directors.

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Why So Many Kids Can’t Sit Still in School Today

In the past few years, we have seen a serious rise in the diagnosis of ADHD for children, according to the Center for Disease Control. This diagnosis in a student’s life forces educators to develop sensitized programs for them in order to help them succeed. Why has this diagnosis increased among our children? In light of my writing about the importance of movement and brain-based interventions in my recent posts, could it be that the lack of body movement could be part of the problem of increased ADHD?

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Helping Philadelphia School District become Trauma Informed

I have been writing about how Lakeside and other schools are changing their values and practices around brain-based interventions.  Frequently those interventions accommodate individuals who have suffered high levels of trauma, such as in urban locations.

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