Long Beach School District starts pre-k program
LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - For a group of students in Long Beach, back to school on Thursday was really a new beginning.
The Long Beach School District welcomed preschoolers for the first time and it took some getting used to for the youngest of students and the teachers, too.
“I created a schedule and then realized two hours in that I needed to back up, revamp my ideas, and everything has gone flawlessly today,” said pre-k teacher Jordan Seal.
The pre-k program for 4-year-olds was made possible with a $750,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Education. The district’s goal is to give more children a chance to learn earlier.
“When they’re in kindergarten, one of the first things they’re handed is a writing utensil,” said Seal. “First, I have to build those fine motor skills and get everything together before they’re even able to pick up that pencil.”
After students move up from the program they could keep going to the same school. The three pre-k classrooms are located inside the district’s two lower elementary schools.
“For our preschoolers to be in the school that they will potentially be going into kindergarten is a great advantage for these kids because they’ll be more familiar with their environment and it will add to their success,” said Reeves Elementary School Principal Russ Badeaux.
Even though school has already started, spots are still open for students. Right now, it costs $90 a week, but that could change.
“This program is rocking and rolling, I don’t see that we will ever lose kids,” Seal said. “I think we’re just going to build and eventually the goal is to have a true public pre-k that is free for parents.”
To be eligible for the pre-k 4 program, the student must live in the Long Beach School District, be part of a military family, or be the dependent of a school district employee.
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