Children who will be 4 years old on or before Aug. 31 may be eligible for free pre-kindergarten classes, administered by Union Smart Start and Union County Public Schools. Registration begins on March 1 and ends on March 31. Any application accepted after March 31 will be placed on the waiting list. This pre-kindergarten initiative provides high quality programs using creative curriculum that focuses on preparing children in developmentally appropriate ways to be successful kindergarteners the following year. Emphasis is placed on literacy, numbers, math, fine and gross motor development and problem solving.
“Many studies have shown that students in high quality pre-kindergarten classes are more likely to succeed in grades K-12.”
- Trinisha Dean, Pre-Kindergarten Coordinator at Union Smart Start
In addition, adults who received high-quality early education are more likely to graduate from high school, outperform on literacy tests as young adults, be employed at age 40, have higher income, own their homes and have fewer arrests.
Children in pre-kindergarten:
- Learn about letters, colors, shapes and numbers.
- Learn to develop positive relationships with peers and teachers.
- Listen to stories and learn about books.
- Explore math, science, art and music.
- Expand language skills.
- Develop a positive sense of self and an enthusiasm for learning.
- Explore and play outside daily.
Pre-K classes follow the Union County Public Schools calendar, with some programs operating on a year-round schedule and others on the traditional schedule, depending on location. Classes are held five days a week for 6.5 hours each day in public schools and in four- or five-star licensed child care centers. Transportation may be provided. Classes are small, and each lead teacher has a college degree with birth-kindergarten licensure.
To register a child, parents must provide the child’s birth certificate, updated immunization record, the parent’s 2009 W-2 form or family tax records and two proofs of residence, such as a cable, tax or electricity bill or a lease agreement.
Students who register by March 31 will receive a letter in May with their application status. Openings are limited. Applications and eligibility criteria are available at:
Benton Heights Elementary, Monroe
Campus Kids, Monroe
East Elementary, Monroe
Elizabeth Baptist Learning Center, Monroe
Indian Trail Elementary, Indian Trail
Kids Are First, Matthews
Marshville Elementary, Marshville
Rock Rest Elementary, Monroe
Rocky River Elementary, Monroe
Sardis Elementary, Monroe
Sun Valley Elementary, Monroe
Tender Care Academy, Monroe
Union Elementary, Wingate
Union Smart Start Pre-Kindergarten Office, Monroe
Walter Bickett Education Center, Monroe
Waxhaw Elementary School, Waxhaw
Weekday Children’s Ministry, Monroe
Wingate Baptist Child Care, Wingate
Wingate Elementary, Wingate
If you have questions about pre- kindergarten registration, contact Patti Jones at Union County Public Schools (704) 624-2133 or Trinisha Dean at Union Smart Start (704) 282-0580.
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