Pre-K registration opens in Union County

Mar. 02, 2013 @ 04:02 PM

It’s time for NC Pre-Kindergarten registration in Union County.

NC Pre-Kindergarten (NC Pre-K) is a readiness initiative proven to help 4 year olds gain basic skills needed for success in school and in their futures. Children who will be 4 years old with birthdates between Sept. 1, 2008, and Aug. 31, 2009, may be eligible for the free classes administered by Alliance for Children. Applications are being accepted now, and since openings are limited, late applicants may be placed on the waiting list.

NC Pre-K provides high quality programs that focus on preparing at-risk children in developmentally appropriate ways to be successful kindergarteners the following year. Emphasis is placed on literacy, numbers, and math, fine and gross motor development, problem solving and behavioral skills.

“Many studies have shown that students in high quality pre-kindergarten classes are more likely to succeed in grades K-12,” said Mary Ann Rasberry, executive director of Alliance for Children. In addition, adults who received high-quality early education are more likely to graduate from high school, outperform on literacy tests as young adults, be employed at age 40, have higher income, own their homes and have fewer arrests.

This year, more than 370 Union County children are enrolled in NC Pre-K in 21 classrooms.

Donna Griggs, owner of Kids are First in Stallings, is thrilled with the NC Pre-K program. “These children are at risk, they have a need,” she emphasized. “We need to make certain that at-risk children do well in kindergarten and first grade – that’s why pre-kindergarten is so important.”

Children who have been identified as at-risk may simply need the extra support provided by the NC Pre-K program to prepare for kindergarten. Risk factors include low income (for example, income less than $50,975 for a family of four), limited English proficiency, identified disability, chronic health condition, developmental or educational need.

Children of active duty military families are given priority status. Priority placement is also given to eligible children who have not been served in any other quality preschool or child care program. Punctuality, regular attendance and family involvement are vital to the student’s success in NC Pre-K. Transportation to class, before and after school care must be provided by the family.

Children in NC Pre-Kindergarten

Learn about letters, colors, shapes and numbersLearn to develop positive relationships with peers and teachersListen to stories and learn about booksExplore math, science, art and musicExpand language skillsDevelop a positive sense of self and an enthusiasm for learningExplore and play outside dailyNC Pre-K classes are held five days a week for 6.5 hours each day in four or five-star licensed child care centers.

To register a child, parents must complete an application and provide the child’s birth certificate, the parents current pay stubs, 2012 W-2 form or family tax records and two proofs of Union County residency, such as a phone, cable, tax or electricity bill or a lease agreement.

See Pre-K/Page A5

Openings are limited. Applications are available at:

www.theAllianceforChildren.org,Alliance for Children office at 105 Cedar St., Monroe,Walter Bickett Education Center at 1200 Concord Ave., Monroe,Smart Start at Play and the Smart Start Resource Center, both at 604 Lancaster Ave. in Monroe,The Union County Library (Monroe branch/children’s section), 316 East Windsor St., Monroe,Union West Regional Library (Indian Trail branch/children’s section), 123 Unionville-Indian Trail Rd.Parents will be notified by June 28 of their child’s placement in the program.

For more information, contact Suzanne Walters at (704) 238-8917 or email her at swalters@theAllianceforChildren.org.