District’s pre-K program is something worth showing off

Published 9:08 am Tuesday, September 17, 2019

When Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood made a trip to Warren County to learn more about the Vicksburg Warren School District’s pre-K program, he shed light on a community treasure.

In his visit to Dana Road Elementary School, where he visited with pre-K students and marveled at how much they learned in six short weeks of school, he brought attention to a community treasure.

When he interacted with the students, shook their hands and engaged them in questions and answers, he brought focus to a community treasure.

Over the past few years, the number of students seeking pre-K education in Warren County outnumbered the number of spots available at the few schools where the program was offered.

But through strong leadership by district administrators and the district’s board of trustees, their investment and focus on increasing the number of pre-K classrooms is paying off.

Today, at nine of the 10 elementary schools in the district, pre-K students fill 17 classrooms across the district.

Today, 4-year-olds are getting a start on their education very few before had ever had the chance.

Much in the way we focused on the seniors at River City Early College being trendsetters, these 4-year-olds, these “babies” as some of their teachers and principals might call them, are really the next wave of educational advancement and improvement in our community.

Today, these children are learning their letters, their numbers and the fundamentals of reading to put them on the path for a strong education down the road.

Tomorrow, when these students enter kindergarten, they will have the head start many children before did not have.

Already, district leaders have studies and scores showing pre-K students, as they move through the grades, are having stronger test scores and better results in the classroom.

And by being a part of the classroom at such an early age, they are developing the social skills — through the exposure with Leader in Me — needed to be successful down the road.

There are a lot of things going on in the Vicksburg Warren School District to be excited about; the dual enrollment programs, the career academies and the new construction. But the investment made in these children, the youngest among us, is an investment that will undoubtedly pay huge dividends in the future.

These students — and this program — are a community treasure.