By Lauryn Terry
My name is Lauryn Terry and I am 14 years old from Olympia, WA. When I was 3, I was an ECEAP student. ECEAP, the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, taught me a lot of things. I remember being little and people not being able to understand me when I was talking. When I went to preschool, people there helped me to communicate better. I didn’t know it then, but I know now that they helped my mom get me the help I needed to get surgery on my ears, speech therapy, and to learn how to talk and make me able to hear.
I remember we went on a lot of cool educational field trips, to places like the Capitol and a fish hatchery. I also learned a lot about nature. We would have a lot of play time, but I didn’t realize I was actually learning at the same time. Teachers would read to us and sing songs, and I remember I really loved my preschool teacher. I really also liked the cool trikes and the outside time, even when it was raining – playing in the covered area was always fun. I think that’s where my love of nature began.
I think that ECEAP should be expanded so that more kids like me who can’t hear or have special needs can get the help they need before they start kindergarten. All children should be able to have a good learning experience and feel safe. I’m now in the 8th grade and I’m in AVID, a program that is for kids who are selected to be college bound, and working on my skills like note-taking and getting ready for tests. I have mostly As and read above grade level. I want to go to college and get a degree and work for the Forest Service. I also want to work to make the world a better place and teach people how to love one another and get rid of all the hate in the world. All people are the same and should have the same opportunities, no matter where they live or go to school.
I think all kids should get to go to preschool like I did.
See Lauryn testify in Olympia before the House Human Services & Early Learning Committee:
Read our 2019 Legislative Priority Issue Brief: Early Childhood Education – ECEAP
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