Pre-K program to begin at Manila Public Schools

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Manila Public School is pleased to announce its new ABCfSS (Arkansas Better Chance for School Success) Pre-K program for four year olds.

The pre-kindergarten program is something teachers and administrators have seen a need for and have been working toward for some time. The first class of pre-k students will begin with the 2005-06 school year. Pre-K orientation will be Aug. 19. Classes will begin Aug. 20.

Connie Adams is the school program director and Diane Baugher will be the pre-k director.

This program will provide pre-K children with fun filled activities designed to increase a child's chance for successful transition into kindergarten and overall academic success. The days' activities will include teacher directed and student chosen center based outdoor activities, rest time, music, art, physical education, and library.

There will be two classes with 20 children in each class for a total of 40. Each class will be under the direction of an early childhood certified teacher. Teachers are Judy Shelton and Tiffany Barnes. Each class will have an aide. They are Sherry Hembrey and Susan Hollis.

To be eligible for the program a child must be four years of age by Sept. 15, 2005.

According to the ABC program, the 40 openings must first be filled by children whose family incomes fall under the ABC guidelines. Proof of income must be provided. ABC slots will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Adams said if the 40 openings are not filled, then children whose family income does not fall within ABC guidelines will be eligible for the pre-k classes.

Pre-K students must have immunizations and health checks as required by the state.

Adams encourages anyone with a four year old and interested in the program to apply.

"We are working on a short time frame," Adams said. "We just received approval notice for the ABC program and we want to get the word out to parents to apply."

Applications can be picked up at the elementary offices at Manila School. The first round of applications is due Friday, Aug. 5. Additional applications will be taken until the beginning of the school year.

Because of strict transportation laws for child care providers, the ABC Pre-K will not provide transportation. Parents will be responsible for transporting children to and from school.

The hours will be the same as other classes. Classes will begin at 7:40 a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m. The calendar will be the same as the public school calendar.

Adams said because the family is important in the life of every child, pre-K parents will be welcome to visit the classrooms and participate in the many activities. There will be frequent parent nights where there will be various speakers and activities designed to help parents become a strong part of their child's educational process.

Pre-K will be held in the former fifth grade building. Other classrooms in the building will be used for a parent center, art and music.

Adams said the staff is excited about getting the program started.

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