Early Education Could Influence Public Health

 A pre-Kindergarten fair being held Tuesday in Knox may have some long-term health benefits.

The second annual event allows children and their parents to explore the various pre-school options available in Starke County. Booths will be available to distribute information to parents. Among those participating is IU Health Starke Hospital.

Media Representative Ted Hayes says education plays an essential role in early childhood development.

“Two to five year olds that are enrolled in pre-school have obesity rates that are five to 10-percent less than children who do not,” says Hayes.

Early education is also correlated with fewer problems with smoking, mental instability, and crime and violence.

The pre-K fair also allows parents to learn more about the various enrichment activities offered in Starke County, including library programs and Head Start.

Hayes says medical professionals have noticed the health benefits of other activities in class, such as getting up early and exercising.

“The children will take what they learn out of, especially the summer programs, they’ll take it home and engage the entire family,” says Hayes. “So we see that it goes through the entire family structure.”

By introducing early health concepts, it could have long-term benefits for Starke County.

The pre-school fair runs from 4:30 until 6:30 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center.