To ensure the future progress of our students, there is a need for preschool programs, plus mandatory all-day kindergarten at every school in Indiana.

Having taught preschool programs, kindergarten and first grade for 46 years, I can assure you of the tremendous benefits derived from early learning programs.

First, the social, emotional, mental and physical development of the child is extremely important. There should be a focus on character development and the joy of learning promoted. Also, respecting and loving one another is an important lesson.

Next comes the focus on academics — promoting a desire to achieve in a loving, respectful atmosphere, with less focus on tests.

Because we live in a democracy, young children need to learn how to get along and socialize with others as they pursue their education. There is no need for online preschool or kindergarten — just mandatory all-day kindergarten.

Grace Turner, Gary