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Pre-school is important

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A new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund on the well-being of

children in 35 developed nations turned up some alarming statistics about

child poverty in this country. More than one in five American children fall

below a poverty line. The United States ranks 34th of the 35 countries

surveyed, above only Romania and well below virtually all of Europe plus

Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

We tend to demonize the poor, assuming their status is their own fault. But

those of us who are better off often had parents who supported us in ways

including education, and perhaps we had a little luck along the way. Ours is

a sink-or-swim society. We can do a lot to keep more heads above water,

including a strong preschool program for all.

Rolf Westgard

St. Paul

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