Mar 14, 2013 6:32 PM by Chris Welty

Pre-K is Helping Students Succeed in the Classroom

The Lafayette Parish School System could receive a nearly 350-thousand dollar state grant for children in pre-k.

The majority of funding for pre-k in Lafayette Parish comes from grants and what's called title one funding. If the parish receives the new grant, it'll provide money for the first year allowing the system to work with other pre-k programs in the area.

"This will ensure all children enter kindergarten ready to learn and we will all be working together for that same goal, using the same information, standards and assessments," said Christine Duay, Director of the Lafayette Parish School System's Early Childhood Development.

At Truman Elementary, Jennifer Macip has taught pre-k for 18 years and says it's rewarding but challenging.

"You have some coming in not knowing quite as much as others and you have to learn to meet the needs of the children and where they are at. You take them from there and once they realize they can do something then it helps them to grow much faster."

To help students grasp concepts, learning centers are set up in each classroom. Teachers use toys and learning aids for every subject including creative arts.

"In each center we have learning process that goes on. There are toys in the center, but they are used for them to learn with. They think they are playing, but we're teaching them as they play," said Macip.

Teachers stress the importance of building a strong education foundation early so students are prepared for kindergarten and beyond.

"To see them make friends and to grow from the beginning of the year when they came crying and at the end of the year they want to come to school and don't want to leave. It's great."

Next Friday on March 22, Lafayette Parish will hold a pre-k and kindergarten registration day.

Pre-k registration will be at two locations, The Vermilion Conference Center from 8:30 until 2:30 and Truman Montessori from 7:30 until 4. Kindergarten registration will be at all elementary schools from 8:30 until 2:30.

Children must be 5 years of age by September 30, 2013 to register for kindergarten and children registering for Pre-K must be 4 years of age by September 30, 2013.

Items needed for registration are: the original birth certificate, up to date immunization records, a social security card, proof of residency and the parent's proof of income.

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