Portage schools to expand pre-kindergarten program

2013-05-21T00:00:00Z Portage schools to expand pre-kindergarten programJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | The Portage Township School Board approved spending $20,000 to expand its pre-kindergarten program into all eight elementary schools this coming school year.

The school district will partner with Parents as Teachers to offer Ready, Set, Kindergarten to 192 children.

The program will meet one time per month from October through May for 26 to 28 sessions during the coming school year. Each session will last two hours.

A certified Parent as Teacher parent educator will lead each session and district home school advisers will serve as an additional educator. There will be three interns in their senior year at Indiana University Northwest's School of Social Work also working with the educators.

Twenty-four children from each school will be able to participate in the program. Enrollment will be held on a first come first serve basis and will begin in the summer.

Jill Stricker, of PAT, said the program will provide a simulation of a year-long kindergarten program and will prepare students to get ready to interact with their peers and other adults prior to entering kindergarten.

A pilot program has been held at one of the district's elementary schools and has been successful, Striker told the board during its discussion meeting last week.

The total cost of the program, said Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia, will be $40,000, with $20,000 provided by the district and $20,000 through grants awarded to Parents as Teachers.

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