Pass Christian looks to expand pre-k program as state puts focus on early childhood education

Pass Christian looks to expand pre-k program as state puts focus on early childhood education

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - More educational opportunities are in the works for the state’s youngest learners.

The Mississippi Department of Education is offering another round of grants to school districts to create pre-kindergarten classrooms. It’s the same grant the Pass Christian school district used to create its pre-k program this year.

Twenty students are currently enrolled in the pre-K program at Pass Christian Elementary. Little do those students know, they’re building a solid foundation for their educational career.

“The kids just come in. It’s all play based, and they’re learning so very much, just by playing, reading stories, singing songs," said teacher Robyn Holder.

This is the first year for this Pre-K program at Pass Christian Elementary. It was redeveloped after a hiatus of several years with a grant from the Mississippi Department of Education. Holder said she’s already seen a lot of growth in the school’s youngest students.

“We’re receiving great feedback from our parents. They’ve seen a lot of maturing going on with the children. Their vocabulary is improving drastically," said Holder.

The goal is to give students a head start in their education.

“Their learning has started to blossom. Their language is blooming as well. And as you can see from having been in the classroom, their social skills are growing immensely. They’re learning how to share, how to work together, how to work in teams," said Dr. Carla Evers, superintendent for Pass Christian schools.

Grants from the state are used to create classrooms that focus on giving students with disabilities equal learning opportunities, also known as blended classrooms.

“Kids who are struggling, as well as those kids who may be way up here ability wise, but might be struggling socially wise, every kid has something that they offer, and they help each other grow," said Holder.

Holder said so far, the program has been a success.

“It’s been amazing. I feel like this has been the best year of my life teaching," she said.

There’s been so much interest in Pass Christian Elementary’s pre-k program that there’s currently a waitlist. The school district plans to apply for an additional grant to expand and create a pre-k classroom at Delisle Elementary.

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