The St. Clair Times

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September 18, 2014

Our view: Pre-K grants a step forward for community and state

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Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 2:52 pm, Wed Jun 11, 2014.

No measure we can take to further our children’s education is too great.

That was the message of Wednesday’s announcement by Gov. Robert Bentley. The governor, speaking at Leeds Elementary School, announced over $7 million in grants for voluntary pre-kindergarten programs across the state. Programs in the Leeds and St. Clair County school systems will benefit from the announcement.

“The most important part of a child’s education is a good, solid foundation, and our First Class voluntary pre-k program provides that,” said Bentley. “All children, regardless of where they live, deserve the opportunity to excel. A high-quality, voluntary pre-k program improves their chances of success in K-12 school. This is a wise investment that will benefit children and families throughout Alabama.”

Though the state’s pre-K program has received rave reviews from around the nation, only about 4 percent of the students in the state participate at the moment. That needs to change, according to Leeds Superintendent John Moore.

“I think it’s sound educational practice to get the kids in the programs as early as possible,” Moore said. “I’m excited about serving 4-year-olds. I think it gives them another year to learn and be confident learners, to be confident in themselves.

“I think it helps parents, too. I think parents will be delighted to bring their students to quality programs, with the spectrum of service we provided.”

It will only mean good things for everyone, both now and in the future.

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