SCOTTSDALE, AZ - (Marketwired - Sep 28, 2015) - The results of a recently published study conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University adds to a growing body of evidence that the social and emotional skills of kindergartners may be better predictors of future success than their academic skills, according child development specialists at The Little Gym.
The 20 year national study tracked the academic and social progress of more than 750 children from kindergarten through age 25. Researchers asked the children's teachers to assign each kindergartener a score on a "Social Competence Scale" for qualities like "cooperates with peers without prompting," "is helpful to others," "is very good at understanding feelings," and "resolves problems on own." The study found that the young children who scored highest in kindergarten in social competence skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and listening, were four times more likely to have graduated from college than those who did not. The study also found that, in some cases, these types of social skills seemed to be better predictors of future success than academic skills.
"This study emphasizes how important it is for parents to provide opportunities for their children to develop their interpersonal skills as well as their academic skills," says Ruk Adams, The Little Gym president and CEO. "Strong social skills help a child develop friendships with peers and positive relationships with adults, including teachers. This type of social 'success' helps bolster a child's self-esteem and motivates a child to achieve in school and beyond."
Ruk points out that more than 90 percent of teachers responding to a survey emphasized the importance of promoting social and emotional skills in students, but found it difficult to integrate this type of learning into an already crowded school curriculum. "Parents of young children need to look for opportunities for social development outside of school, and child-focused programs like the ones offered at The Little Gym are a great place to start," Ruk said. "Our programs can both complement and enhance a child's school experience."
The Little Gym offers specialized, age-appropriate programs to help children develop both physical and social skills in a fun environment that provides a different context for learning. Games are purposefully designed to enhance social development and the non-competitive environment encourages children to play with each other rather than against each other. Children learn to become more considerate of one another, more aware of the feelings of others, and more willing to work together for mutual benefit. These essential life skills help children learn how to interact in positive and socially acceptable ways.
The Little Gym is now enrolling students for the 2015-2016 Season. For more information, please visit www.TheLittleGym.com.
The Little Gym is an internationally recognized program that helps children build the developmental skills and confidence needed at each stage of childhood. The very first location was established in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. The Little Gym International, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., was formed in 1992 to franchise The Little Gym concept. Today, The Little Gym International has over 300 locations in 30 countries. For more information, visit The Little Gym at www.TheLittleGym.com.
SOURCE The Little Gym
The Little Gym International