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In a fun way to learn their numbers and to work on coordination skills, Samara Nyathanga, 5, plays hopscotch in her preschool classroom at Jefferson City's Southwest Early Childhood Center. At left is teacher, Jennifer Penserum, who works closely with the Title 1 students to help them improve their reading skills and numeral recognition skills.

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Experts: Emphasis on early education beginning to pay dividends

‘We keep growing’

Simple experiments, gleaned from a book called “Ollie Oxygen,” kept the children at Southwest Early Childhood Center rapt. But expanding the students’ vocabulary and encouraging them to verbalize their thoughts was the activity’s main point.

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