More Pre-K options for students, still not enough - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

More Pre-K options for students, still not enough

Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation for Pre-K access. Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation for Pre-K access.
MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

Pre-Kindergarten is becoming more and more popular with parents in the Tennessee Valley. So much so, that there isn't enough room for all kids to enroll.

Madison Pre-K Director Sharon Willis said Pre-K is a place for four-year-olds to get a head-start on learning.

"They're being socialized with other children," said Willis. "So there is a much greater readiness for kindergarten when they go."

Willis said research proves Pre-K sets children up for a more successful, happier life.

"It's structured play," said Willis. "So that they are learning the different concepts that they need to learn. They are learning specific vocabulary."

But not every kid has the opportunity. In Madison City Schools alone there are more than 60 kids on the waiting list.

A grant received in June allowed the Madison School District to add one new class, bringing the total number of first class kindergarten classes up to four. Willis said it cost about $120,000 for one Pre-K class. However, she said the opportunity it provides for kids is priceless.

Last month Governor Bentley said the state of Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation for Pre-K access. With the new funding, ten percent of four-year-olds are enrolled in Pre-K.

Four Huntsville Elementary schools received grants for Pre-K education as well.

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