Counties collaborate on pre-k classes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Counties collaborate on pre-k classes

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By Sarah Baldwin - bio | email

July 24, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Its a program growing in popularity all over the state. So much so, in Grady county, they don't have room for the 40 children on the waiting list.   "We did request 2 expansion classes from Bright from the Start and as of this date we have not received them and I don't think we will," says Sandy Mudra, Grady County Pre-K Director.

Some of the pre-k programs in Thomas County on the other hand, have been struggling to fill their classes.   At Mu-Dear Pre-School in Thomasville, Administrative Director, Dr. Donnell Carley says pre-k is popular, but isn't growing quite as fast.  "We've had a low rate of children. It was told to us a few years ago that its due to a low birth rate in Thomas County."

Since Georgia pre-k officials want all, or most of the spots filled, Carley was facing a problem. On top of that, he thought it was a shame in Cairo that parents who wanted their kids in pre-k didn't have the opportunity.  "I decided what I would do as the director for our pre-k program, is fill those spots up, lets serve the children. We're getting paid for it, so lets serve the children in our neighboring counties."

Mudra agrees.  "Grady county's moto for our school system is: 'It's all about the kids.' So if we truly stand by that, then this is a wonderful opportunity to be put into practice. We want our children to be served, no matter where."

"We want to serve all the children in the state of Georgia that we can serve," says Carley.   Educators say students who go through pre-k have a huge advantage when starting school.  "We notice a big difference when children go to kindergarten, if they've had the lottery funded pre-k," says Mudra.

"We have different opportunities and different domains in language and literacy skills to enhance and prepare them for what will take place the next 12 years of their school life," Carley says.  So they want everyone to have the chance. If Grady parents decide to sign their children up for pre-k in Thomasville, Mu-Dear will pick them up and drop them off everyday at a central location in Grady County.

Parents in Grady county who are interested in this program can go to the housing authority Saturday, July 26th from 9 a.m. until noon to register.

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