Linden Elementary to start Pre-K program

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 30, 2005

Demopolis’s “Fabulous Fours” won’t be the only ones in Marengo County enjoying the benefits of a pre-kindergarten program when school starts again in the fall.

That’s because, thanks to a grant made from state education funds, Linden Elementary School will be hosting its own Pre-K program for four-year olds beginning this August.

“We’re excited because it’s something new for public schools in the county,” says Linden Elementary Principal Wanda Fisher.

“It’s a full day, 5 days a week, of appropriate children’s programs.”

While Fisher says tha the program will have many positive attributes to offer those enrolled, she doesn’t want to give the impression it would be the only quality one available.

“We certainly don’t want to take anything away from HeadStart,” she says. “We look at it as an addition to that program, just an additional quality program for the children of our community.”

One of the things Fisher is most excited about regarding the new program is that a number of different Linden residents will be joining their efforts to make it a success

“It will be taught by certified teachers who will work with a collaborative task force,” she says, “made up of both educators and members in the community. The task force will work with the teachers to make it the best program it can be…having that collaboration will just make it that much stronger and make sure all the children’s needs are met.”

A high level of parental involvement will also be a feature of the program, Fisher says.

“The parents will also have the opportunity to participate in their child’s Pre-K education,” she says. “We’ll have enrichment activities, workshops, and days when they can come into the classroom and work with their kids.”

The grant means that the state has requirement for the way the program is established and run, and Fisher says there won’t be any problems meeting those.

“It will follow all guidelines established by the Office of School Readiness,” she says.

In fact, Fisher says, the program will do an awful lot more than that.

“We will have equipment and material that hasn’t been seen in this area before,” she says. We want to help the children be proud of the things they can accomplish…the curriculum will foster independence. If they spill, for instance, how to clean it up, or how they can serve themselves their own snack.

“We also want them to respect other children and the world around them,” Fisher adds. “The curriculum will include cultural study. We’ll bring a lot of the world into the classroom.”

One hallmark of the Demopolis program’s first two years is that the first-come-first-serve registration process has created long lines and surprisingly early arrivals the morning of registration. With only 18 slots available in the Linden Elementary program, Fisher won’t be surprised if something very similar occurs June 7, when Linden’s registration opens.

“We’re anticipating the same thing,” she says. “You would not believe the interest we’re getting. People are very excited about this program.”

Registration will take place June 7 at 9 a.m. at the Linden Elementary School office. Children must be four years of age by or before September 1 to be enrolled.