Lakewood Overview

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Lakewood Preschool Corporation (LWPSC) serves families from the Lakewood Community (approximately 2 miles northwest of uptown Charlotte, North Carolina) and surrounding neighborhoods (including Biddleville, Smallwood, Enderly Park, Glendale Acres, and Thomasboro), as well as others referred by North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten. Lakewood and surrounding communities are well below the county average on several variables that affect education. The neighborhood statistical area (NSA) by the 2012 Charlotte Mecklenburg Quality of Life Index, meaning they have a lower quality of life than other communities in Charlotte and are "at risk" on multiple dimensions. According to the Index, NSAs experiencing social distress have the highest level of social needs.

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Children in the Lakewood Community and surrounding neighborhoods who face risk factors such as poverty, single parent, and low maternal education are at risk of a cumulative impact on their cognitive, language, or emotional development. They need access to high quality early education and referrals to specialists to address existing developmental delays. Parents and families of these children need assistance with parenting and basic life skills to better equip them to support and nurture their children. According to research concerning the First 2000 days of a child’s life: “Adverse experiences during the early years of life, such as chronic poverty or abuse, can disrupt normal developmental processes, setting the stage for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and other chronic illnesses later in life”. One 2004 study linked preschool participation with “significantly higher rates of educational attainment and lower rates of juvenile arrest,” in part due to pre-kindergarten development of literacy skills and “parent involvement in school and avoidance of child maltreatment” (Reynolds, Ou, & Topitzes).

Strong families are vital.  Parents are a child’s first and best teacher. Supporting parents has significant benefits to children and families. For example, voluntary home visiting programs provided by qualified professionals to parents, prenatally and/or with young children – reduce health care costs, improve school readiness and success, reduce need for remedial education and increase family self- sufficiency.(1st 2000 days) Parents/caregivers who participate in the LWPSC program repeatedly report that they rely on LWPSC to gain knowledge of developmental issues, and to provide books, learning materials, and workshops about children and families. Parents/caregivers state that LWPSC has helped them to recognize the importance of school involvement and advocating for their children.

Quality early-learning experiences that begin at birth and continue through third grade can make all the difference! For example, Duke University researchers found that North Carolina third graders had higher reading and math scores and lower special education placements in counties that spent more money on Smart Start and More at Four – now NC Pre-K – when those children were younger. The early years are so defining that by the time children turn eight, their third grade outcomes can predict future academic success.”(1st 2000 days)

Lakewood Preschool Corporation (LWPSC) was founded in 1995 in response to an inquiry by Smart Start to serve the needs of children and families living in the Lakewood Community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, LWPSC is a literacy-based, tuition-free, Five-Star preschool and family education program. LWPSC offers a full-day preschool program serving children 0-5 years of age designed to be a collaborative effort among parents, children, staff, neighbors, volunteers and other service providers. LWPSC’s primary goals are to prepare its children and families for successful entry in the school system ready to learn – cognitively, emotionally, socially and physically – and to help educate its participating families to enhance their children’s ability to achieve success in school and in life. LWPSC currently operates in collaboration with Child Care Resources Inc. an Early Head Start Child Care Center Partnership (EHSCCCP) for children ages 6 weeks -35 months, and an Infant / Toddler Family Education and Support Program in collaboration with the YMCA that provides home visits and developmental resources (prenatal through age two) for neighborhood families. LWPSC has one infant/toddler classroom, 6 weeks – 17 months (the “Blue Jays), one toddler/two year old classroom, 18 months – 35 months (the “Canaries”), one three year old classroom, (the Red Robins) implementing the Creative Curriculum for 32 children and LWPSC has one NC Pre-K classroom (the “Hummingbirds”) for 18 four-year-old children. There continues to be a waiting list for the infants, toddler, two and the three-year-old program.

20thAnniversaryfive star

Lakewood Preschool has been awarded the highest ranking
by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (NCDCDEE).