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Pre-K program in high demand
MEXICO- In the coming weeks there will be a line in the halls of Meroby Elementary School, but it won't be comprised of little ones waiting for their bus, it will be of parents wanting to get their children registered for the highly sought after pre-kindergarten program. The program is for four-year-olds, run on a first come, firstserve basis and in high demand.
Sarah Rideout is the teacher and is assisted by an Ed Tech, Deanna Bennett. “The program is free to families,” noted Rideout. “It's part of the budget of the school. We have a really great program and the kids love it.”
Each day the children arrive on the bus, just like the older students and they spend all day working with the teachers and other students and getting to know the ropes in preparation for their first year of school to follow.
As they arrive the children put away their coats, and get ready for their morning meeting and then have breakfast with their friends. They move on to their open learning segment, where they have the opportunity to do various crafts, play grocery store, they can dress up and play families in the small living area that is all just their size, or they can find a book on the shelf to look through.
“It's a great time for them to be creative,” noted Rideout. “They enjoy spending the time together and getting to know one another. They have their pick of activity and enjoy pretending to be shopping or cutting out crafts.
The children have a schedule posted on the wall for all to see, and even if they don't know how to read yet, they pay attention and know when each activity is coming to a close.
After the children clean up, then they have small group time. “This is for us to spend individual time with children according to their level of ability,” noted Rideout. We spend time reading, writing, doing some simple math problems and getting to know our numbers and letters.”
The students always look forward to recess and then they get to come in on the colorful rug for their literary circle, where they either participate in a reading activity or are read to. “The goal is to read at least two books a day while they're here,” stated Rideout.
When it's time for lunch, the students walk to another room and have a family-style lunch separate from the other students in the school. “We want to make sure they know how to use their utensils and we also work on manners with the students,” added Rideout.
To finish off the day, the students have quiet time, which may include a nap, they have an afternoon snack and open learning, and a special time with a fourth-grader, who comes in to read with them. “It's a great opportunity for our older students to learn a little about volunteering. The kids love having their reading buddies come in.”
Before the end of the day, the students take part in Handwriting without Tears. They learn how to make little and big curves and lines with wooden cutouts.
At the end of the day, the students help clean up their work areas and then ready themselves for the bus ride home. All while learning the Meroby Code of Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Safe, Be Responsible.
If you're interested in learning more about the program and how to register your child, call 364-3715. Applications will be available beginning April 25.