Early Education
1:16 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Governor Tours Eugene Preschool

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber visited a preschool in Eugene Thursday. The home-based center is part of a pilot program offering support for early childhood education.

Governor Kitzhaber helps children in the garden at Friendship Preschool in Eugene.
Governor Kitzhaber helps children in the garden at Friendship Preschool in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

At the Friendship Preschool, each child has their own garden plot. The governor helped plant vegetables while touring the home-based facility.

Kitzhaber wants the state to invest in programs like this one.

Kitzhaber: "It makes no sense to start funding education just at kindergarten. Its as though kids don’t exist until they get to school and we know that a 4 month old or a three year old is learning all the time and we need to give them the support and opportunity to do that. It's a moral obligation I think."

Patti Schwabl owns Friendship Preschool in the River Road neighborhood of Eugene. She tries to give kids tools to prepare for school.

Schwabl: "So if we can get all of that taken care of get them all prepared all ready to go so that when they walk into a kindergarten they're good to go and they just want to learn what's going on and they can absorb it."

Friendship Preschool is among the top 40 of about 500 participating in the new Quality Rating and Improvement System for preschools which rolled out in March.