Carlsbad schools receive funds for Pre-K program | KOB 4
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Carlsbad schools receive funds for Pre-K program

Casey Torres
May 16, 2018 06:05 PM

CARLSBAD, N.M. — For the first time, 4-year-olds will be able to attend a Pre-K program in this fall at the Hillcrest Elementary School.

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The Carlsbad Municipal Schools district received an award for more than $1 million from the New Mexico Public Education Department. They were also awarded $140,000 from the state to start-up the Pre-K program.

Greg Rodriguez, the superintendent for the Carlsbad Municipal Schools, said they started planning for a Pre-K program three years ago.

He said teachers and school leaders were trained and the facility for the program was upgraded to accommodate 4-year-olds. Restrooms, sinks and water fountains were modified for the future students.

Parents think the program is a great opportunity.

"I'm really excited that Carlsbad is offering this, we haven’t had this before," said a mother, Stephanie Yocon. "I didn't have it growing up, so I think it’s just a great opportunity for our town and for our youth here."

Currently, there are nine classrooms available at Hillcrest Elementary, but it will expand to 14. Rodriguez said students entering kindergarten sometimes can’t read. The program will focus on literacy and language.

"We know that the earlier students have the opportunity to practice literacy and language the more likely they are to be on-level readers, and we know that on-level readers ultimately become graduates," Rodriguez said.

Students will also learn how to socialize with their peers. Mealtime is an important way for children to learn how to socialize, said Rodriguez. They learn how to ask for help to open their milk cartons, learn to be polite with others while eating, and learn how to use utensils.

Rodriquez said it will be a half-day program and transportation will be provided. He said a date for enrollment has not been set, but children must their immunizations before applying.

Children who turn 4-years-old by Sept. 1 are qualified to enroll, about 350 will be accepted.

There are other schools in New Mexico offering the Pre-K program.

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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