Law enforcement leaders and state legistators took time out on Monday to read to a classroom of preschool children at N.B. Galloway Elementary School in Channahon.
They also took time to call on state lawmakers to support high-quality preschool as a critical strategy to reduce crime, lower prison costs and save taxpayers money, according to a news release from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
"As the former police chief and now the village administrator in Channahon, I take this community's long-term safety seriously," said Channahon Village Administrator Joe Pena in the release. "Proven programs like preschool help make Channahon a safe place to grow up."
He was joined at N.B. Galloway Elementary School by Channahon police chief Jeff Wold, Elwood police chief Fred Hayes, state Senator Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, and democratice state Representative Larry Walsh Jr.
Cost deters many families in Will County from gaining access to high-quality preschool programs, according to the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids news release. The release states that more than 9,300 children in Will County in the 3-4 year-old range are not enrolled in state preschool or Head Start programs.
"Preschool cuts crime and saves money," Hayes said. "We can't turn our backs on a safe and productive future for these kids and our communities."
"The more we invest in the youngest children, the less we'll have to spend on arrest, prosecution and corrections in the future," Wold said.