TES Pre-K program readies for new children to enroll

Published 11:00 pm Friday, March 22, 2013

Morgan Allen, Jack Baggott, Kahdyn Bivin, Dougie Branson, Jayme Taylor and Wes Templin get ready for an egg hunt at TES.

Morgan Allen, Jack Baggott, Kahdyn Bivin, Dougie Branson, Jayme Taylor and Wes Templin get ready for an egg hunt at TES.

Thirty-two Troy children will already be familiar with iPads, colors, sight reading and other skills when they enter Kindergarten next school year.

That’s thanks to the pre-Kindergarten program for 4-year-olds at Troy Elementary School.

“I am amazed at the progress and transformation since August,” said TES Assistant Principal Teresa Sims. “It’s just been a joy to watch.”

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As part of their time enrolled in the first year of the TES program, children have learned the basics of sign language, met local community leaders and emergency responders, spent time with Troy University students, and even learned a little Spanish.

“They are ready,” Sims said. “These children will have a very strong foundation for Kindergarten.”

TES Principal Juan Henderson said the school uses a combination of academics and creative play to enhance the learning process.

“We have figured out ways to get these children early exposure to so many skills, and it is fun for them,” Henderson said, giving credit to the three K-4 teachers who worked with the children this year – Aundrea Poole, Katie Miller and Toni Branson.

Since the Pre-K program is not funded by the state. The school system charges $440 per month for a child to attend. That includes the day from 7:10 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. and parents can extend pick-up times to 5:30 p.m. Tuition also includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack for the children.

“This was a major step by Superintendent [Lee] Hicks and the Board of Education,” Henderson Said. “And it is working.”

While there are three teachers and 32 students this year, there is space for three more teachers and about 100 students to take part in the K-4 program at TES.

Parents who are interested in enrolling their 4-year-olds to begin school next August are invited to attend an open house on either April 1 or April 2 from 5 to 7 p.m.

If parents cannot make it to one of those sessions, others will be held during the summer, or a quick call to the school can schedule a daytime tour.

“This program has been good for us, locally,” Henderson said. “Research shows that early exposure to learning programs can help students excel.”

Henderson said TES is looking at how to make the program even better in its second year.