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    Child’s Play

    by Nicole Fruge posted April 26, 2012
    Four-year-old Adrianna Crews, center, clutches a doll during playtime at the Early Learning and Literacy Center at Dunbar Elementary School in Atlanta. A new study finds per-pupil aid is shrinking for state-funded preschool programs. —Pouya Dianat for Education Week

    Four-year-old Adrianna Crews, center, clutches a doll during playtime at the Early Learning and Literacy Center at Dunbar Elementary School in Atlanta. A new study finds per-pupil aid is shrinking for state-funded preschool programs. —Pouya Dianat for Education Week

    This scene of faux domesticity catches my eye at once—a box full of baby dolls, two vacuum cleaners, and a play-kitchen full of utensils and dishes. The children are given a chance to choose new stations every day, but you could tell this trio of girls was dying to get into the housekeeping area together. Watching them transform into their vision of adult women was endearing. One picked up the disconnected telephone and ordered a pizza, another vacuumed the area and set the table, while Adrianna Crews, center, watched the “babies.” Witnessing the kids adopt grown-up mannerisms so quickly was fascinating. While they were imitating adult behavior, they still preserved their childlike innocence and naivete as they socialized. It made me realize one of the reason’s why pre-K is important; it has very little to do with ABC’s or 123’s. It’s more fundamental: Children are learning, in their own way, how to live and work with each other.  —Pouya Dianat