Regional Meeting of the School of 21st Century Network

April 25, 2006 – Posted at 2:20 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD, AR -- It was a busy day for educators in Paragould was the regional meeting of the School of 21st Century Network.

"Some of the benefits of the School of the 21st Century are that children will come to school ready to learn," said Beth Lapin, Senior Associate for 21-C Direct Services, "It helps get kids off to a good start. We know that if children come to school not ready to learn then it is very, very difficult for them to catch up."

Paragould has been a School of the 21 st Century since 1992. It's now affiliated with the Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy. On Tuesday, they played host to 14 21st Century Schools across the state.

"There's been a lot of funding that has been able to come together at the table, be blended for children so that good things are happening all around," said Yale University Consultant Norma Meek.

Educators know getting an early start is critical to learning.

"Research says the earlier we get pre-k children...if you spend $1 dollar in pre-k, you save $9 in high school," said Director of Federal Programs for Cabot Schools June Elliott.

Tuesday's regional training and luncheon was just part of three meetings scheduled. The group will also meet in Hamburg and Rogers.