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Griggsville-Perry turns to community for help funding Pre-K program

There’s new concerns for the Griggsville-Perry school district Pre-K program, as school administrators said they’re struggling to fund it.

Students will be walking the halls of Griggsville-Perry schools Thursday and come Monday, 40 of those students will be Pre-K students looking to jump start their education.

However, there’s concern about the Pre-K program, as they didn’t get the funding from the state that they needed. That’s why they’re asking for the community’s help to keep the program running.

First year Pre-K teacher Marina Bradshaw is getting her classroom ready for students.

“I love the preschool age, they’re so excited about learning and we’re excited to get started,” Bradshaw said.

She said Pre-K is an important time in students’ life, where they learn a variety of skills they’ll need down the line.

“They really need those social skills,” Bradshaw said. “They need to be able to cooperate with other people, control their own emotions. Those are taught skills.”

But, Griggsville-Perry superintendent Kent Hawley said the Pre-K program is in jeopardy.

This comes after the school district applied for an early childhood block grant. Out of 95 state programs, only 36 received it, Griggsville Perry was not one of them.

Now, the district is left to fund it on its own– something they did last year, thanks to donations from the community.

“We’re hoping for the same kind of response we did last year and we’re going to need that community support,” Hawley said. “Our community’s great and help us in many different ways and we’re hoping they will do so again.”

Hawley said it takes nearly 100,000 dollars to fund a year of Pre-K, an amount he knows is steep, but said is worth it.

“That’s the biggest part,” Hawley said. “Getting them ready for school, ready to learn, so they have the skills, the behaviors, that will allow them to be successful. It’s so important at this age.”

Bradshaw agrees and said she’d hate to see it go.

“I want every kid to leave here as a confident learner,” Bradshaw said. “I want them to be excited about learning and ready to continue their education.”

The school district is accepting monitory donations and is also asking for things like snacks and school supplies, things the students use every day.

They said you can bring all types of donations to the school.

Hawley said last year, 64 percent of his Pre-K students were considered ready for Kindergarten, according to a readiness test.

That number put them in the top five programs throughout six counties in the area.

He said the district plans to appeal the grant process, in hopes of possibly receiving any state funds that they can.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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