Meet HighScope Hero
Meet HighScope Hero
LANIE, MICHAEL, MICAH, AND ELLA DIXON
Honoring a family of HighScope Heroes.
In 2003, Lanie Dixon and her husband Michael learned about HighScope’s active learning educational approach and its Demonstration Preschool, located on the HighScope campus in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Dixons immediately knew that HighScope would provide the right early learning experiences for their two young daughters, Micah and Ella. “We understood the importance a quality early childhood education would play in their future,” Lanie says.
Today, eighteen-year-old Micah and Ella, now 15, are confident and focused young adults. HighScope’s positive impact on the two is apparent. Their parents say that the girls learned important skills at HighScope, including those related to conflict resolution and executive function. Their planning and decision-making abilities, acquired during their HighScope days, were clearly evident when they each decided to attend boarding school for their high school education, conducting extensive research to find the schools best suited to their respective goals.
With her parents’ encouragement and support, Micah chose to attend Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Now a freshman studying remotely at Howard University in Washington, DC, Micah is already looking ahead to graduate school. Ella is a high school sophomore at Fountain Valley School of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Both have their sights set on working in the sciences.
“It was a benefit that the Demonstration Preschool classroom was diverse. They attended HighScope with students from different races, walks of life, and socioeconomic levels. Now, they are fearless and unafraid to take their places in the world.”
Lanie and Michael believe strongly that it is their duty as parents to be supportive of their daughters as they follow their curiosity and explore the world. “That’s our job — to get them to the plate. They have to swing the bat, but it’s our job to get them to the plate,” Lanie says.
The Dixon daughters’ experience with HighScope is an example of how high-quality early childhood education can translate into better outcomes throughout children’s later educational years and into their adult lives. The girls agree that HighScope set a strong foundation for their future successes. Micah says, “I enjoyed HighScope so much. When it was Ella’s turn to go, I begged my dad to let me go back.”
Ella has happy memories of making ice cream in plastic baggies and other hands-on, teamwork activities. “It was about teamwork and treating people the way you want to be treated, and telling people how you feel at times. I think I’ve kept that with me,” she says.
Michael appreciated the parental participation that HighScope encouraged. “The parents were invited to join the classroom and read along with their children. That was memorable.”
Learning how to interact in diverse settings is another skill the girls honed at HighScope. Lanie remembers, “It was a benefit that the Demonstration Preschool classroom was diverse. They attended HighScope with students from different races, walks of life, and socioeconomic levels. Now, they are fearless and unafraid to take their places in the world.”
Family engagement is key to the HighScope approach, a value the Dixon family embraced from day one. Although Lanie nominated her daughters to be HighScope Heroes, all the Dixons are true heroes.