Work starts after passage of Paragould millage - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Work starts after passage of Paragould millage

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) With an increasing emphasis on Pre-k education, one main goal is to reach these students and start the development of thinking and social skills early on.

"It starts literacy and math and science and being able to think for yourself and make good choices," said Director of Early Childhood at the Paragould School District, Vicki Shelby.

Developing problem-solving skills at an early age--just one example of skills Paragould School District administrators hope a new Pre-k center will achieve.

"There's already an achievement  gap in those that go to Pre-k and those that do not," said Shelby.

Shelby says a Pre-k center will be part of the new primary school the district will build.

"Not only do we play and learn and have this great curriculum going on throughout the day, but the teachers are assessing them," said Shelby.

While the School of the 21st Century in the Paragould School District does have a Pre-k program now, it also offers many other services for students and parents. Shelby says the new Pre-k center will focus on kids going to kindergarten the following year, and help get them ready.

"We don't want this to become a watered down kindergarten.   We want it to be a Pre-k that is state of the art. We want to get all of those skills in the right way, the most quality way, and the most important for our children," said Shelby.

Shelby says there are assessments and documentations not only for the benefit of the students, but also to show progress that will hopefully lead to continued legislative funding for Pre-k education.

"See where they are, see what gains they have made throughout this school year, and it is amazing to see that gains that they make at the end of the year," said Shelby.

Shelby says the Pre-k center will have seven classrooms, with 20 students in each classroom. The Pre-k program will be free.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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