River Road Independent School District officials joined political and civic leaders in espousing the benefits of a solid academic foundation, during Willow Vista Early Childhood Academy’s ribbon cutting ceremony conducted Tuesday on the school’s campus. State Rep. Four Price served as the featured speaker during the event, with the spirited student body being the focal point of the celebration.
“This initiative with Willow Vista Early Childhood Academy is awesome,” he said. “What you’re doing and what you’re going to experience with these students and the families of these students is going to make a tremendous difference for the future and our community.”
Price said providing sound academic footing for children nurtures a vast array of skill sets that foster student success.
“Experts will agree that approximately 90 percent of brain development occurs by age five,” he said. “It is so important to establish a solid foundation for all of your future academic endeavors and socialization. Early childhood education successfully promotes socialization, cooperation, a lifelong desire for learning, respect and concentration. These children will carry those traits into their K-12 experience.”
RRISD Superintendent of Schools Richard Kelley, who praised Price for his devotion to public education in the state legislature, also extended kudos to the school district's men and women who dedicate themselves to their craft on a daily basis.
“We’ve got an outstanding group of educators in this district and an outstanding group of administrators,” he said. “The teachers and paraprofessionals on this campus alone do an outstanding job day in and day out making the lives of these children better. We’re excited about the present, because it’s going to produce bright futures.”
Willow Vista Early Childhood Academy Principal Dana Bolin shared with those gathered most of her academic career has been spent serving the smallest of learners, noting she realized she had found a forever home once she was named to take the school’s reins.
“It is our vision that Willow Vista ECA would serve as the model for high quality early childhood public education, resulting in a learning environment where all children achieve their full potential through partnerships with family and community,” she said. “This is a special opportunity to prepare students to be responsible and productive citizens by focusing on teaching the whole child. River Road is the right choice for education and the road begins here, where Wildcats start strong.”
RRISD also garnered plaudits from another state lawmaker for maximizing its potential.
“Nobody is doing more and investing more effectively in the future of young people, which means the future of the state of Texas, than River Road,” State Sen. Kel Seliger said. “When we go to Austin in January, the biggest thing we will do is the budget and 38 percent of that budget is public schools. We’re told by educators that if young people can read at grade level by the third grade, that will prepare them for everything going forward they need to learn. What you’re doing is absolutely critical to the education of these young people and you are to be congratulated for your dedication.”