Pre-K Program Launches at Last

December 21, 2016
  • Realizing education is the great equalizer; the Rotary Youth Club is committed to better reach an age group not getting that equal opportunity to succeed: Pre-K.

    After years of determination to be a part of the solution, the Club will launch a full Pre-K program in January 2017. Sarah Seitz – a 30-year seasoned Kindergarten teacher and beloved face to many in this community – will become lead teacher, assisted by current club staffer and former member Tylesha Gulley.

    The Alabama School Readiness Alliance has consistently published studies reflecting the inarguable link between quality Pre-K and the rest of a child’s academic life. They head to school with better reading, writing and math abilities as well as the social skills that ensure “ready to learn” Kindergarteners arriving at the school door. Studies also find fewer special education placements and behavior problems, higher graduation rates and even stronger economic productivity later in life.

    Those statistics become faces to Fairhope area teachers who tell us too many children arrive at Kindergarten not knowing colors or numbers and unable to even use a pair of scissors.

    Both existing Pre-K programs at Fairhope Elementary and J. Larry Newton Schools have waiting lists. In fact, lack of available programs overall mean fewer than half the eligible 4 year olds in Fairhope have access to Pre-K whether public or private.

    With the generous support of a grant from the J. L. Bedsole Foundation and private donors, the Rotary Youth Club will open its first class for 18 students following the same curriculum, enrichment and standards of Alabama’s nationally-recognized First Class Pre-K program. We’ve also added a playground with specific developmental play equipment, and our current garden will expand to become a true “outdoor classroom” with natural lessons in math and science.

    We’re grateful to those with the vision, financial support and shared belief that every child in this community deserves the chance to succeed.

Winter 2017 Newsletter