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More Children Enrolled in Pre-K Statewide

Thompkins Early Childhood Center in Ozark has its first class of pre-k students this school year.
Thompkins Early Childhood Center in Ozark has its first class of pre-k students this school year. The school applied for a grant to fund the new class to allow children between three and four years old to prepare for kindergarten--something they wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. The grants have allowed over five thousand students in Alabama to go to Pre-K. It's part of an effort to better prepare kids for kindergarten.

"Kids that have attended pre-k those students seem to see greater success earlier than those that do not Pre-K or don't have the background as far as the learning skills," said Michele Mathis, preschool teacher for Ozark City Schools.

It's only the second day of school for Mrs. Parks’ class so they're just learning the basic rules and procedures of how a classroom works. Something that's an important building block for later on when they begin to learn actual academic skills like reading and writing.

"We're teaching kids how to play and how to get along to where they have those skills when they start kindergarten instead of needing those skills as they're coming in to kindergarten," said Mathis.

Under the program guidelines, the class has twenty students or less and the students were chosen by lottery. It's evident they're happy to be there and parents are glad that their children get a head start on their education.
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