Making the grade - Kelly Pre-K program

By Laura Wibbenmeyer - bio | email

BENTON, MO (KFVS) - A transition from home to school is sometimes tough for a kindergartner but a program at Kelly schools is helping to make that transition smooth.

The pre-kindergarten program has only been around for two years, but already its accomplishments are huge.  Pre-K teacher Terri Peters says this program has continued to grow over the past two years.

"We still have at least seven kids on the waiting list," said Peters.

Peters says having a program like this one in a smaller community like Benton is rare, and she is happy the program is excelling.  These little minds are molded everyday, and kindergarten teacher Emily Essner says for her that is priceless.

"With some of them already knowing lots of their letters and sounds we could definitely excel with programs and go ahead and start pushing them towards reading and writing and just taking them to a new level," said Essner.

In fact, Essner's daughter has only been in the program two days and she says she can already see huge improvements.

"Four year olds have the amazing ability to learn just about anything if you expose them to it they will pick it up quickly," said Peters.

Peters also says from the beginning to the end of the school year the test scores rose 36 percent.  that makes it clear this program is working.

Kelly's Pre-K program expanded this year thanks to the help of an extra teaching aid, making the total two.  They're hoping the strength of the program just continues to grow.

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