Preschool Offers Essential Developmental Skills, Learn More at Tonight’s Pre-K Fair

The Starke County Community Foundation is hosting its fourth annual Preschool Fair for local children and their families this evening at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox. Several local preschools will be represented, including Marshall-Starke Head Start. Education Director Dawn Wallen says regardless of which school you choose, structured learning is essential to development. She says 85 percent of brain development occurs between birth and age 5.

“The brain has critical periods of time for learning, and if the brain is deprived of information during that time it may not ever develop properly and the opportunity may be lost. The child then has to go back and make up, so to speak, some of the learning that did not take place when it should have.”

Wallen adds kindergarten has come a long way since many parents were in school.

“We want the children to be successful when they enter into kindergarten, and it also helps out the kindergarten teacher so they can move on and they don’t have to teach the children how to recognize the letters of the alphabet. The children should already know that, and they can do what they need to do in kindergarten.”

Wallen says preschool also teaches children how to interact with their peers,  problem solve and self-regulate their emotions. She says those are all important skills to have before starting kindergarten.

The fourth annual Starke County Community Foundation Preschool Fair will take place from 4:30 until 6 p.m. at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in downtown Knox. Visit for more information.