|Twiggs County Pre-K Program|
As you walk toward first hall at Jeffersonville Elementary School, before you can round the corner, you will likely hear the “Alphabet Song” (now being sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star where L,M,N,O,P, don’t come out as one letter sound). Or you may hear what sounds like a lot of student voices all talking at once. Then you know you are nearing the Pre-K classrooms where great learning is taking place every day, all day.
Research shows that attending high-quality pre-kindergarten has a lasting impact on a child’s success both in school and in life. Georgia is one of two states in the nation that offers a voluntary Pre-K program to age eligible children. Twiggs County can boast of a successful Pre-K program and how it prepares students for success in school. Twiggs County Pre-K teachers have received training through Bright From the Start, the Georgia Pre-K program, as well as extensive training through the Early Reading First program. Teachers are trained to meet the needs of their students, recognize when students need extra help, and teachers foster a love of learning into the little lives put in their care.
What does Pre-K look like in Twiggs County? The day starts off with news of the day, morning meeting, and preparation for breakfast. At breakfast, polite table conversation is modeled by the staff and encouraged among the students. This is one of many ways socialization skills are embedded throughout the day. As the classes head back to their rooms, they may be reciting a nursery rhyme or doing a finger play. These activities teach phonemic awareness which is an integral skill needed for learning to read. The students sing the “Come to Circle” song and listen as the teacher leads in another phonemic awareness activity, as well as a letter/sound recognition activity. Four year olds need many breaks to get the wiggles out, the oxygen in, and get settled again for more learning. These opportunities are afforded many times throughout the day. What may look like having fun is actually having fun while learning.
As the day moves on, the students are read to 4 or more times during the day. Math, science, and social studies are embedded in the lessons, with art, music, and center time being offered during the course of the day. At lunch, socialization is once again encouraged as well as the teachers talking about good nutrition and encouraging children to try different foods.
The afternoon is time for some large motor development and the students hit the playground in full force. The teachers take turns leading a planned whole group activity and then let the students choose their own outdoor fun. Next is naptime with most students taking advantage of the much needed rest. Following naptime is another story and then students go to free choice centers where they are encouraged to discover, explore, express, and engage in all areas of study.
Clean up and snack time come at the end of the day. Students then participate in “Wrap It Up” where the whole day is recounted, with new vocabulary words being practiced, and students are reminded of what they learned at school during the day.
Parental involvement is an integral part of the success of the Pre-K program. Parents learn how to foster what children have learned at school. Lines of communication are always open between Pre-K staff and parents. Parent meetings are held throughout the year and parents come to two parent/teacher conferences during the year.How do you get your child enrolled for next year? Twiggs County Pre-K will have a round-up in February, 2011, another in April 2011, and registration packets may be requested by calling 478-945-6951.