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RPES to host pre-K program

By Staff
Staff Report
The Escambia County school system received the $100,000 site award for the pre-kindergarten pilot program with Rachel Patterson Elementary School hosting the site location.
The site award was one of Governor Don Seigelman's initiatives in creating pre-K programs for all of Alabama's four-year-olds. Escambia County was one of eight sites selected to be a site recipient.
The location as to where the site would be placed in Escambia County was decided after collaboration among several contending agencies. Thirteen agencies composed a task force and met with a technical assistant team consisting of four early childhood specialists who represented the Office of School Readiness.
Melvin (Buck) Powell, Superintendent of Education of Escambia County Schools, submitted the Atmore area as the area with the largest population of four-year-olds in need of preschool services. Powell also submitted Rachel Patterson Elementary School as the site to provide the service. Sara Davis, Early Childhood/Elementary Curriculum Supervisor, and Donna Revel, Truancy Officer for Escambia County schools, also offered vital stats to support the need in the Atmore area for the program.
Consideration also was given to other contending agency sites. The site was awarded with a 13 to one vote to place the site at Rachel Patterson Elementary School.
The pre-K "Fabulous 4's" program will serve a maximum of 18 students. (Children must be four by Sept. 1, 2000 to attend.)
Children from areas other than Atmore can be placed on a waiting list and may enroll if all of the Atmore area children have been placed. The program is open to all four-year-olds.
The pilot program will have one early childhood certified teacher and one instructional aide. The two positions are currently posted. An application may be obtained at the Brewton Central Office or the Atmore Central Office.
Davis stated that the curriculum for the program will be the High/Scope curriculum, which is an open framework approach to educational ideas and practices that support young children's development. High/Scope is a research based program and has been found to be a most effective program in serving four-year-olds.
Partnerships that will offer support to the program have been formed with local agencies: Atmore Health Department, Atmore Vision Center, Hope Place Family Resource Center, Jefferson Davis Community College, Escambia County Board of Education and the YMCA.
The scheduled date for implementing the program will be Nov. 1, 2000. Students will be enrolled on a "first come, first serve basis." Information and enrollment will be given at a later date.
Any questions concerning the program should be directed to Sara Davis at 334-368-0307.