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Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden students get head start on academic career

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Seated from front left, Kastida Mullalli, Brayden Fahey, and Vivian Zheng, all 4-years-old, react as their Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher, Christina Hoefert, reads to them before heading out to the playground at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff

Photo by TRISTAN SPINSKI

Seated from front left, Kastida Mullalli, Brayden Fahey, and Vivian Zheng, all 4-years-old, react as their Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher, Christina Hoefert, reads to them before heading out to the playground at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff

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  • Seated from front left, Kastida Mullalli, Brayden Fahey, and Vivian Zheng, all 4-years-old, react as their Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher, Christina Hoefert, reads to them before heading out to the playground at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Christina Hoefert, center, a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher, helps Spencer Schroder, 4, draw and cut out a 'G' during a class project at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Patsy Piricsi, left, a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher's aid, serves snacks and refreshments to her students at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Patsy Piricsi, left, a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher's aid, helps Corey Lang, 4, cut out a 'G' during a class alphabet project at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Christina Hoefert, a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher, helps Logan Grimm, 4, slip into a Captain America costume at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Karen Pattison, center, greets Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) students in Christina Hoefert's (not pictured) classroom at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Scenes from Christina Hoefert's Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) class at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Patsy Piricsi, right, a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher's aid, helps Logan Grimm, 4, cut out a 'G' during a class alphabet project at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Christina Hoefert, center, a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarden (VPK) teacher, helps Brayden Fahey, left, Gabriella Cobb, second from right, and Spencer Schroder, right, all 4-years-old, during a class alphabet project at Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Scenes Child's Path Preschool in Golden Gate on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college. Tristan Spinski/Staff

Research shows that high-quality early learning programs improve children's health, development, cognitive ability and chances of graduating from high school and college

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