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Higher Education
San Jacinto College
News Release
Monday, December 19, 2011

Education Center and Lab School at San Jacinto College awarded certification
for kindergarten readiness

PASADENA, Texas — At the San Jacinto College Central Education Center and Lab School, kindergarten doesn't just signify the beginning of school; it reflects years of lessons a child has already completed in preparation for a lifelong educational journey.

The Lab School was recently awarded certification by the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center for its excellence in preparing children for kindergarten. Throughout the year, Lab School teachers completed assessments in the areas of early language, literacy, and mathematics. Results from the assessments were used to monitor the individual progress of each child as well as guide planning and instruction. The certification designates the Lab School as a Texas School Ready! center that follows research-based curriculum, technology-driven child progress monitoring, facilitated teacher professional development, ongoing teacher mentoring, and sustainability, including participation. Lab School Director Kathy Sanchez, and Lab School teacher Dolores Wheelis, were also recognized by the Children's Learning Institute for their assistance in meeting the school's requirements for certification.

"The child development and education department at San Jacinto College supports our Education Center and Lab School by offering several critical courses in the areas of observation and assessment, effective use of curriculum resources, educating the young child and the (e-circle) emergent literacy class to name a few," said Sanchez. "This integrated approach model provides sustainability within the early childhood community. Our prekindergarten class serves as a model lab classroom for teachers to obtain hands-on practice and to observe high quality teaching practices."

For Danny Hanks, father of two from La Porte, the school remains a trusted education institution for his daughters.

"They treated Madisyn like she was their own child," said Hanks. "She looked forward to going to school everyday and was accepted into a dual language program when she entered kindergarten. Now, in second grade, her math testing is off the charts, and her reading skills are above average. I know this was because of the education she received at the Lab School at San Jacinto College."

Hanks said Madisyn's 18-month-old sister, Kaylee, is also doing well and quickly picking up curriculum at the SJC Lab School.

"Regardless of my children's different learning styles, the teachers have made the curriculum work for both of them," said Hanks. "Their cognitive development is very impressive." 

According to the Texas Education Agency, research confirms the value of early education for young children. The learning experiences of the preschool years provide a foundation that guides children academically, socially, and emotionally. These experiences can influence the rest of a child’s life. Prekindergarten programs that support effective teaching practices and opportunities for child discovery through play have been shown to lead to significant growth in children’s intellectual and social development, both of which are critical to their future academic success.

“The child development and education department and the Education Center and Lab School at San Jacinto College are committed to providing a high quality program by implementing best practices and serving as a model for the children, parents, students and the community," said Sanchez.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. Our graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook at

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