JPS expands pre-k program with $700,000 grant

JPS expands pre-k program with $700,000 grant

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro Pre-K program is expanding to an under-serviced area.

Jonesboro Public Schools received $783,000 to open up 100 slots for pre-k students.

Director of Jonesboro Pre-K Program Diane Roush said their current, 11-classroom facility is full.

With this grant, they will be able to build a new facility with 5 classrooms.

Along with opening up more slots for kids, they will also be hiring new teachers.

Roush said the new facility will be built in North Jonesboro on Labaume Street.

Roush said their research shows on average 108 students start Kindergarten at Jonesboro Public Schools without taking part in a pre-k programs.

"We have done brain research with Arkansas State University, and one thing we have learned in that research is 0 through 5 you have windows of opportunity to learn skills for reading and math," Roush said.

With these new slots, Roush hopes no child will go without the pre-k opportunity.

"You miss those opportunities, you never get them back," Roush said. "So that's why it's so key to catch students 3 through 5 instead of having to remediate."

Roush said they are very excited to be able to serve those kids, especially in the area that needs it most.

She also stressed the quality of education the new facility will offer.

"Jonesboro Pre-K is a high quality pre-k center, and we are a level 3 beginnings facility so we will maintain that quality at our next site," Roush said.

The program will begin in August, but they will be borrowing church classrooms until their new building is complete in late January.

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