School leaders emphasize importance of Pre-K

Local News

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Experts say child development and future success may largely rely on early education.

Voluntary Pre-k is offered at every elementary school in Bay District and offered each school day.

“If I had to pick one thing out that is a priority for students, it would probably be this,” said Superintendent Bill Husfelt.

“Our mission at Bay District Schools is to make sure that all children are intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically ready to start school and ready to learn,” said VPK Coordinator, Jennifer Lathem-Walters.

Pre-K is offered at each Bay District Elementary School from 10:30 am to 1:45 am for free. 

There is also an option for these four and five-year-olds to stay until the end of the elementary school day, called the enrichment program.

“Pre-Ks a huge part in the development of young children, and it’s essential that people understand that,” Husfelt said.

Reading, math, science, history, and arts are just part of a student’s day. The other portion is spent on socialization skills and hands-on learning.

“Everything they do is a learning activity. Whether it’s playing in housekeeping or playing with blocks. It’s all about developing skills. They might be social skills. Getting along with others, asking others to play,” said Walters.

“We not only teach kids our kids academics, how to spell their name, their colors, all the things that prepare them to be awesome kindergartners. But we also spend the time teaching them how to be good citizens, how to participate in a classroom and function socially,” said Hiland Park Elementary School Principal, Ilea Faircloth.

The main focus is to make sure that these children can begin Kindergarten ready to learn.

The link to register your child in the Voluntary Pre-K program can be found on the link below: 

https://focus.bayschools.net/focus/apply/

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