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What is the Play-To-Learn Program? PDF Print E-mail

Teacher Lee Play-to-Learn™ targets the 49 percent of San Diego county children who can’t afford to attend conventional preschools that cost upwards of $8,000 per year.  The program brings parents and children together in an interactive educational experience that teaches them to transform every moment of every day into a learning opportunity.

The success of the Teacher Lee program lies in its dedication to encouraging free play and experimentation instead of relying on more traditional teacher-guided classes.  Parents and caregivers are required to attend the sessions with their children since they are an integral part of the Teacher Lee construct.  The children move freely through different stations where Teacher Lee instructs the attending adults on the benefits of their child's play and how to bring learning into the home.

Through books, imaginative play, transportation toys, painting, puppets, puzzles, play-dough, blocks, Lego and art, children develop the skills they’ll need to be successful in kindergarten.  These skills include: letter, number and color recognition; fine and gross motor coordination; spatial awareness; and social skills.  All of which set them up for success not just in kindergarten, but for the rest of their lives.


There is both a short and long-term impact to what Teacher Lee offers.  Kindergarten readiness is the immediate goal, and that positively impacts student achievement throughout the child's school career.  According to the Committee for Economic Development, “high-quality preschool programs offer societal benefits that far outweigh program costs by improving later education, employment, earnings, and crime outcomes for students who attend preschool."

The Alliance for Quality Education provided statistics that show children who have attended preschool have a 29% better chance of getting into college.  A RAND corporation study in 2008 on “The Nature and Quality of Early Care and Education for Preschool Age Children in California” estimated that high-quality preschool for all four-year-olds could result in 730 fewer dropouts, 1000 fewer children held back a grade in school, and 4600 fewer child years of special education in San Diego county alone.

A Chicago study indicated that children without a preschool education are 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime before the age of 18 while here in San Diego county, the RAND study estimated that preschool could result in 2150 fewer juvenile petitions.

The Alliance for Quality Education summarized these benefits by stating “every $1 invested in pre-k saves taxpayers up to $7.”


My name is Teacher Lee and for over 25 years I have been helping parents take developmental learning into their homes.

My grandmother and grandfather were teachers, my mother is a teacher and both my sisters are teachers so you could say the teaching gene is dominant in my family. I remember assisting in my mother's preschool as a child. By 16 I was working as a teachers assistant and doing everything I could to gather extra-curricular credits for college entrance. I attended the Barkley House Teachers Training College in South Africa, a highly esteemed institution that gave me a fantastic academic grounding in early childhood development.

In the 20 years since graduating I have worked with thousands of children in schools in South Africa and the United States. Every child has a special place in my heart and I still receive calls and emails from college graduates who have remained in touch with me from the day they left my preschool class and went on to Kindergarten or Grade School.

My philosophy is a simple one - I am a developmental teacher. That means I see enormous value in allowing children the latitude to learn all the skills they need through play, music and art. I do not believe children are well served by simply memorizing letters, numbers and concepts by rote from they day they are old enough to speak. I am not saying that children should not be exposed to these things, but to see a child learn these concepts without cracking open a book or being spoon fed highly structured lessons gets me excited about the possibilities of creative learning.

If you have a child who could use a little encouragement or needs his or her skills developed to school readiness levels then I would love to talk to you. Teacher Lee is all about sharing fun activities that every parent can find time for. Incredibly the more fun we have the better prepared the child is for school.

This is what I do.

Teacher Lee

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